Are Deposition Transcripts Admissible in Court?

Are Deposition Transcripts Admissible in Court?
Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy


A deposition is a way to gather evidence and information from a witness before a trial. As it is shared by both sides, it results in a better understanding of the witness, resulting in a better outcome of a trial. Deposition transcripts are admissible in a court of law under special circumstances as described below.

They can be introduced by the legal counsel to build their case and can be used for varied purposes, including better preparation of arguments. A deposition can be produced to a court in its entirety or a part of it can be allowed to verify testimony or as evidence in court as stated under the Federal Rules of Evidence

This blog discusses the purpose of depositions, the instances when deposition transcripts can be admitted in court, the factors determining their admissibility, and why you can depend on GMR Transcripts to provide you with deposition transcripts of the highest standards.

Purpose of Deposition in Court

Deposition is a part of the discovery process in the pre-trial phase where the involved parties gather information and relevant facts that they can use to enhance their claims and defenses during the trial.

It is a testimony of the key witnesses also known as deponents that is usually collected in an out-of-court setting, in most cases, in the attorney’s office.

The deponents are under oath while giving testimonies and can undergo civil or criminal penalties for false statements.

The main purpose of a deposition is to provide both parties with a preview of the evidence that has been collected before the trial begins.

This gives both the defense as well as prosecuting counsel the opportunity to examine the witness statements on the opposing sides. This helps them to build their case better.

Also, depositions offer accurate details of an incident as they are recorded shortly after its occurrence. If the trial starts much later, the accuracy of the witness statements may be compromised due to the witness’s inability to accurately recollect of the event.

Also Read: Why Remote Depositions Must Include Legal Transcription Services

Admissibility of Deposition Transcripts in Court

A court of law allows the use of deposition transcripts in certain circumstances. They include:

1. Impeachment 

If a witness’s live statement in court is contrary to the testimony that they had offered under oath during a deposition, they can be impeached on the grounds of lack of credibility. In this case, the court may allow the use of the deposition transcript to be used during the trial.

2. Refreshing Memory

As mentioned above, the witness may have difficulty recalling the exact details if there is a considerable time gap between the incident and the trial. The lawyer may use deposition transcripts to help the witness refresh their memory and recall the incident with higher accuracy. 

3. Unavailable Witnesses

The attorney can use the deposition transcript of a witness who is unable to attend the court proceedings due to factors such as:

  • They are not alive 
  • The witness is outside the 100-mile radius from the court or place of the hearing or is outside the country. However, it may be dismissed if it seems that it is a deliberate move on the involved party’s part
  • They cannot be physically present due to old age, illness, or infirmity, or they are confined to imprisonment
  • The party is unable to get the subpoena needed for the witness to testify in court

4. Exceptional Circumstances

At times, the circumstances are such that the admissibility of deposition transcripts is allowed in the interest of justice notwithstanding the significance of live testimony. The court delivers a motion or notice whereby the concerned attorney presents the deposition transcript as opposed to live witness statements.

Factors Affecting Admissibility of Deposition Transcripts in Court

The presiding judge in a courtroom decides whether a deposition transcript should be admitted during the proceedings or not. Their decision depends on several factors such as:

1. Cross-Examination

Deposition transcripts can be used by the opposite team during the cross-examination of a witness. They can be used with greater effect if the witness contradicts their under-oath deposition testimony which can be brought to the attention of the court by the cross-examiner with the help of the transcripts.

2. Authentication and Certification

If there is any doubt about the veracity of the statement given by the witness in a live court proceeding, for further proof, the deposition transcript that contains their testimony can be allowed by the judge. This is done to verify the statement and corroborate its authenticity. Once the statement is authenticated, it can be certified as admissible evidence. 

3. Hearsay and Objections

When the witness testifies in court about what a non-party told them about the related incident and not what they know for sure is true, then the witness statement is objectionable as it is considered hearsay. In such instances, when an objection is made to the hearsay testimony, the deposition transcript that includes the witness’s original testimony can be allowed in court.

Also Read: What Are the Legal Terms Every Court Reporting Transcriptionist Should Know?

Final Word

Deposition transcripts are being widely used today in live court proceedings due to the many benefits that they offer to ensure that justice is served. However, the accuracy and authenticity of the deposition transcripts are crucial for them to be a part of any judicial proceeding.

The legal counsel wanting to use these transcripts must ensure that they are of the highest standards to be accepted as testimony or evidence.

Why GMR Transcription Is the Preferred Choice for Deposition Transcripts

At GMR Transcription, our team of trained, certified, and experienced legal transcriptionists customize their services to your specific requirements and offer you unmatched and top-notch deposition transcripts. We provide our services to a wide range of legal/court-reporting clients, guaranteeing the highest levels of customer satisfaction with the uncompromising standard of our transcripts.

Some of the highlights of our service are:

1. 99% Accuracy

With our accuracy rate, we ensure near-perfect precision in deposition transcription, minimizing errors for reliable and trustworthy content.

2. 100% Human Transcriptionist

We are equipped with skilled human professionals for every transcription service, guaranteeing top-notch quality and natural language understanding.

3. Fixed Turn-Around-Time

GMR Provides a specific and predetermined time for completion, ensuring timely delivery of transcriptions.

4. Confidentiality

Our team ensures strict protection of sensitive information, maintaining confidentiality and privacy throughout the transcription process.

5. Quick and Efficient Same-Day or Within-24-Hours Service

We offer speedy delivery options, with transcriptions completed within the same day or within 24 hours for urgent requirements.

For more information on the specialized services that we offer, contact us at GMR Transcription today!

Get Latest News & Insights Sent Directly To Your Inbox

Related Posts

Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy is the Cofounder & President of GMR Transcription Services, Inc., a California-based company that has been providing accurate and fast transcription services since 2004. She has enjoyed nearly ten years of success at GMR, playing a pivotal role in the company's growth. Under Beth's leadership, GMR Transcription doubled its sales within two years, earning recognition as one of the OC Business Journal's fastest-growing private companies. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two kids.