In the law of the United States, a deposition is the out-of-court oral testimony of a witness that is reduced to writing for later use in court or for discovery purposes.

The law of the United States comprises many levels of codified and uncodified forms of law, of which the most important is the United States Constitution, the foundation of the federal government of the United States.

The United States of America, commonly referred to as the United States or America, is a federal republic composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions.

Deposition With Robin Thicke, Pharrell Released by Associated Press


It is commonly used in litigation in the United States and Canada, where it is called examination for discovery, and is almost always conducted outside of court by the lawyers themselves.

A lawsuit is "a vernacular term for a suit, action, or cause instituted or depending between two private persons in the courts of law."

Canada is a country in the northern half of North America.

Deposition Testimony: 5 Simple Rules | Preview by New Media Legal Publishing


In other countries, testimony is usually preserved for future use by way of live testimony in the courtroom, or by way of written affidavit.

An affidavit is a written sworn statement of fact voluntarily made by an affiant or deponent under an oath or affirmation administered by a person authorized to do so by law.


Some states will also refer to the deposition as an "examination before trial".

In law, a trial is a coming together of parties to a dispute, to present information in a tribunal, a formal setting with the authority to adjudicate claims or disputes.


Deposition is the preferred term in U.S. federal courts and in the majority of U.S. states, such as California, because depositions are sometimes taken during trial in a number of unusual situations.

California is the most populous state in the United States and the third most extensive by area.


For example, in certain states such as California and New York, the litigation process may be drastically accelerated if the plaintiff is dying from a terminal illness.

Terminal illness is a disease that cannot be cured or adequately treated and that is reasonably expected to result in the death of the patient within a short period of time.


Depositions are a part of the discovery process in which litigants gather information in preparation for trial.


Some jurisdictions recognise an affidavit as a form of deposition, sometimes called a "deposition upon written questions."


This developed in Canada and the United States in the nineteenth century.


While in common law jurisdictions such as England and Wales, Australia, and New Zealand recording the oral evidence of supporting witnesses is routine during pre-litigation investigations, having the right to pose oral questions to the opposing party's witnesses before trial is not.

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