Depositions and Court Testimony

Whether testifying as an expert witness on someone’s behalf or in defense of your own appraisal before a state licensing board or judge, your keys for success are the same.

Testimony in a deposition is recorded by a court reporter and is part of the official transcript. It is, therefore, as important as testimony at trial. Although a judge is not present at a deposition, your testimony may be read back at trial, especially if the two versions are not consistent. In cases involving your own work, opposing counsel is generally trying to determine what you know about the issues or what you did. This is known as “discovery.” They also are trying to establish “benchmark” testimony, hoping to find inconsistencies between your statements in deposition and at trial, in order to discredit you as a witness.

Court Testimony
The courtroom is the place where decisions are made. This is also where the attorney who hires you will be asking you questions. If you are hired as an expert witness, the first set of questions will probably be from your attorney to get you approved as an expert. Your attorney is trying to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise. They will ask your name, the type of licenses you have, how long you have been appraising, your education, specialized training/expertise, any disciplinary actions or complaints against you, membership in any professional organizations and whether you testified before in a court proceeding.

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