Depositions and Interrogatories…What’s the Difference?

Litigation can be a tricky and confusing process for many people. One of the most confusing things can be understanding the differences between the tools of discovery. For those who don’t know, discovery is the legal process of obtaining all relevant facts of a case in order for each party to have their best possible chance of winning. The five different types of discovery are pretty understandable. The two that are often confused with each other are depositions and interrogatories. So what’s the difference?

For starters, depositions are an out of court question-and-answer session that must be conducted under oath. There are several ways this can be done, including telephonically and by video conference; but the most common method is face to face in a neutral meeting place in the presence of a court reporter in order to document the deponent’s answers. This meeting can be any length in order to get the information needed from the deponent. In any case it is much different from interrogatories.

Interrogatories are a set of questions sent to an individual to answer and send back to an attorney. These are limited to 30 questions, including subparts of questions. This list of questions can be mailed to an individual and must be sent back via certified mail. The individual usually has 30 days to answer the interrogatories and send the responses back before any action is taken against them.

While sharing similarities, depositions and interrogatories are two completely different discovery tools. For more information on topics like this, read through our blog. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter now to get updates on Orange Legal headlines and legal news from around the world.

This blog was written by Melissa Inman, Orange Legal Client Services Representative