How Much Do Depositions Cost?

My car wreck case has not been settled and now my lawyer says we have to take depositions.  What are depositions and what do they cost? 

 A deposition is testimony given by a plaintiff, a defendant or witness in a lawsuit before the case actually goes to trial. The person giving the statement is called the deponent. At the beginning of the deposition the deponent is asked to swear or affirm that the statement will be truthful.   The deposition is taken by a lawyer asking questions of the deponent.   Usually, the lawyer for the plaintiff will take the deposition of the defendant and the lawyer for the defendant will take the deposition of the plaintiff.   Either lawyer may take the deposition of other people who have knowledge about facts important in the case.

The deposition is recorded and transcribed by a court reporter.  The cost of a deposition depends on whether you are buying the "original" or a "copy."   The person who takes the deposition buys the "original" and other parties each buy a "copy."

The cost of an "original" deposition runs about $2000 for a full day of testimony.   A copy is about $500.   Court reporters charge a flat fee called a per diem and make an additional charge for each page of the transcript.

To learn more about what happens during the case preparation process, read our Legal Guide called "Understanding the Steps in the Litigation Process."