As discussed previously, the parties may conduct “discovery” of the case to prepare for trial. In sum, the goal is to learn what are the other side’s strengths and weaknesses, which may prompt settlement before trial.
In addition to the written discovery tools available, a party may, by oral questions, depose any person, including a party, according to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30. The deponent’s attendance may be compelled by subpoena under Rule 45.
During a deposition, the lawyer asks questions the deponent answers under oath. The testimony may be recorded by audio, audiovisual, or stenographic means. Unless otherwise stipulated or ordered by the court, a deposition is limited to 1 day of 7 hours.
An objection at the time of the examination—whether to evidence, to a party’s conduct, to the officer’s qualifications, to the manner of taking the deposition, or to any other aspect of the deposition—must be noted on the record, but the examination still proceeds; the testimony is taken subject to any objection. A person may instruct a deponent not to answer only when necessary to preserve a privilege, to enforce a limitation ordered by the court, or to present a motion under Rule 30(d)(3).
Many excerpts of depositions taken by video are available on YouTube, the format of some of which should be avoided, such as this one:
and some deponents can be difficult:
with some questions being inappropriate:
and others being out of control:
Regardless of the absurdity of some depositions, they can be an effective tool to learn about your copyright infringement case.