March 21st, 2020 — In

The Landowner’s Deposition in An Eminent Domain Case

This Article is written by Owners’ Counsel of America for general informational purposes only. It is intended to assist landowners in understanding the deposition process, as well as what to expect and how to prepare. This Article is not to be viewed as providing legal advice or to be considered as a substitute for consulting with an experienced eminent domain lawyer on the matters covered herein. What is a Deposition? A deposition is the legal term for the taking of sworn (meaning under oath) out-of-court oral testimony of a witness that is reduced to a written transcript for later use in court or for discovery purposes. In a condemnation case depositions are typically taken of the landowner, the appraisers, and other lay and expert witnesses.  Because litigants and their lawyers in a condemnation lawsuit want to avoid any surprises at trial in terms of what the evidence, testimony and exhibits will be, taking depositions is one common way of ‘discovering’ information about matters that will likely come up at trial.  In situations where the deposition witness testifies differently in court than how the witness testified at his or her deposition, the deposition testimony can also be used to impeach or discredit the witness. This is one reason why it is very important to adequately prepare for a deposition. Why Would the Condemning Authority Want to Take A Landowner’s Deposition? There are several reasons why the attorney for the condemning authority may wish to take the deposition of the property owner […]

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