A deposition is testimony given under oath during a lawsuit and recorded for use in court at a later date, usually the trial. Your deposition will probably be one of the most important events in your sexual harassment lawsuit and may even determine the outcome of your trial. At a deposition, there is a court reporter present and usually a videographer. The court reporter will attempt to take down everything you say verbatim. You should dress professionally because the video recording of your testimony will likely be played to the judge or jury at the trial of your case. If you say anything untrue at the deposition, it will probably be used against you at trial, especially if the defendant has evidence that shows what you testified to at your deposition is untrue. At your deposition, the defendant’s attorney will usually ask you questions related to your case. Depositions usually last from 10 am to 5 pm per day with several short breaks and an hour lunch break. Your deposition will probably last for at least three days. When you learn of the date of your deposition, you should immediately request time off from your current employer so you can appear for the deposition and spend at least a day in advance of the deposition preparing at your attorney’s office. Cases are won and lost based on deposition testimony. In advance of your deposition, you should prepare by reviewing carefully all the documents your attorney has provided you with and that you have provided him or her with. The defendant’s attorney will probably ask you about each of them in detail.
As with the deposition of the victim, the deposition of the harasser will be extremely important to the outcome of a sexual harassment lawsuit. The harassment victim’s lawyer will examine the harasser under oath about the facts in dispute in the harassment case. If the harasser is caught in a lie during the deposition, the victim’s attorney may present a video recording of the false testimony to the judge and jury at trial.
Not only is sexual harassment illegal. The law also prohibits:
- Racial harassment
- Religious harassment
- Age-based harassment
- Harassment based on disability
- Harassment based on ethnicity or national origin