Nolo's Plain-English Law Dictionary
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- The taking and recording of the testimony of a party or witness under oath before a court reporter, in a place away from the courtroom, before trial. A deposition is part of pretrial discovery. The testimony is recorded by the court reporter, who will prepare a transcript that can be used for pretrial prepration or in trial to contradict or refresh the memory of the witness, or be read into the record if the witness is not available.