Divorce at Altitude: A Podcast on Colorado Family Law

Depositions in a Divorce | Episode 132

December 08, 2022 Ryan Kalamaya & Amy Goscha
Divorce at Altitude: A Podcast on Colorado Family Law
Depositions in a Divorce | Episode 132
Show Notes Transcript

For most people, a divorce is the first time they’ve taken part in a deposition. Today, we’re talking about the what, who, and why of depositions. Join us to learn how going through a deposition can support the discovery process, often settling a case before it has to go to trial. 

We discuss different purposes for depositions, why the transcript is the most important part, and how they can prepare you for a successful trial experience. The conversation also touches on analyzing the cost benefit, taking depositions for third parties, and navigating fear around the litigation process. Join us to hear why expert discovery is so expensive, what not to do when you enter into the process, along with more effective tips and more.

Key Points From This Episode:

  • What depositions are and what they are used for. 
  • How depositions support the discovery process through a truth-seeking mechanism.
  • The transcript which is the most important part of the deposition. 
  • How a remote structure is becoming the norm for depositions.
  • The different kinds of depositions which depend on the attorney’s purpose. 
  • A different purpose for depositions to file a motion.
  • How depositions can act as preparatory motions for the trial.
  • Why impeachment can follow a deposition. 
  • Making a cost-benefit analysis for depositions.
  • A reminder that you can take depositions for third parties such as notaries or former attorneys.
  • Why depositions regularly occur towards the end of a case.
  • Navigating fear around litigation and deposition processes.
  • Expert discovery, expert disclosures, and new rules of civil procedure. 
  • Ryan’s tips for people going into depositions: don’t be like Bill Gates!
  • Why you cannot win your case during deposition, but you can lose it by offering too much information.
  • Why it is important to listen to the question and answer only that. 
  • How communication in a deposition differs from general communication. 
  • Why the key to a successful deposition is to practice. 
  • The strategy attorneys often use to catch a person off guard. 
  • Common questions that are asked during the deposition process.
  • The scope of what can be asked in a deposition and how that differs from what can be asked in trial. 
  • The lack of information about divorce depositions available in Colorado.

What is Divorce at Altitude?

Ryan Kalamaya and Amy Goscha provide tips and recommendations on issues related to divorce, separation, and co-parenting in Colorado. Ryan and Amy are the founding partners of an innovative and ambitious law firm, Kalamaya | Goscha, that pushes the boundaries to discover new frontiers in family law, personal injuries, and criminal defense in Colorado.

To subscribe to Divorce at Altitude, click here and select your favorite podcast player. To subscribe to Kalamaya | Goscha's YouTube channel where many of the episodes will be posted as videos, click here. If you have additional questions or would like to speak to one of our attorneys, give us a call at 970-429-5784 or email us at info@kalamaya.law.



Ryan Kalamaya (3s):
Hey everyone. I'm Ryan Kalamaya.

Amy Goscha (6s):
And I'm Amy Goscha.

Ryan Kalamaya (8s):
Welcome to the Divorce at Altitude A Podcast on Colorado. Family Law.

Amy Goscha (13s):
Divorce is not easy. It really sucks. Trust me I. Know. Besides being an experienced divorce attorney, I'm also a Divorce client.

Ryan Kalamaya (20s):
Whether, you are someone considering divorce or a fellow family law attorney. Listen in for weekly tips and insight into topics related to Divorce Co Parenting and Separation in Colorado Welcome. Back to another episode of Divorce at Altitude. I am your cohost, Ryan Kalamaya. This week we are gonna be talking about Depositions Amy, And. I have covered various issues with discovery and we're gonna take a deep dive. But before we get into that Amy, what's going on?

Amy Goscha (53s):
Not much just, you know, ready to talk about Depositions. We've prepared a nice outline, we're presenting on that soon. So today we're gonna be talking about the what, where, why, who, you know, all about Depositions.

Ryan Kalamaya (1m 6s):
Yeah, so the Depositions are this, it's this mystique where anytime we talk about Depositions with our clients, generally I have represented several business owners who are like, yeah, I've done like a dozen Depositions, but most people, it's the first time And, they get totally freaked out. And so we're gonna talk about what a deposition is. So can you, for listeners that don't even know what a deposition is, can you just give us kind of an overview of what, what's a deposition?

Amy Goscha (1m 36s):
Yeah, so I mean we hear it in the media a lot Depositions of, you know, stars or even political figures, but it's essentially a question answer format that is, you're essentially testifying under oath. There's a court reporter and attorneys use it for various, you know, ways to get information. And we'll talk further about that. Anything that you have to add Ryan about what Depositions are?

Ryan Kalamaya (2m 2s):
Well, it's an opportunity for the other, it's a discovery mechanism. And so discovery is the opportunity for each side to explore and to figure out what the information, the truth really it's a truth seeking mechanism. And we'll talk about later on about, there's different kinds of strategies that lawyers employ when it comes to Depositions. But you oftentimes, if it's in person, I mean the most common used to be in person where there'd be a conference table, there'd be a sonographer who's typing at those things that people can remember. Like the Perry Mason, I used to love Perry Mason, but Perry Mason, I think it was like Beverly.

Ryan Kalamaya (2m 43s):
And he'd be like, Beverly, can you read out? And and Beverly was this stenographer, she was the court reporter typing it out. And really that's the main point of a deposition is that, is that transcript. But both parties are often there. So you know, Eric, Melanie, Wolf, they'll be be sitting across from the conference table Eric for Melanie's deposition. She doesn't have to be there, but she often is. I mean that kind of is, can be awkward. There can certainly, I've been in Depositions where there can be arguments, but usually if Eric's giving his deposition, he'll be sitting on one side of the conference table and Melanie's attorney and her will be on the other side and then Melanie's attorney will ask Eric questions.

Ryan Kalamaya (3m 26s):
And if I'm representing Eric, then I can object. And then if there's a question about attorney client privilege, so what did Ryan and you talk about in preparation for this? Well then I'm gonna instruct Eric not to answer, but generally speaking I will object and then Eric will have to answer the question if he knows how to, if he knows the answer. We'll talk about that a little bit more in detail. But you know, you And, I are doing this over Zoom, this podcast episode, you're in Denver, I'm up in Aspen. And that is becoming more the norm for these Depositions. I was in a deposition last week where my client was in California and you know, the other attorney, And I were both in Aspen but we were on Zoom.

Ryan Kalamaya (4m 10s):
It was just a lot more convenient and that's most of the time what what's happening. But if we want to get into different kinds of Depositions, we we can take that next step. Amy.

Amy Goscha (4m 21s):
Yeah, so tell me like what are the different types of Depositions?

Ryan Kalamaya (4m 25s):
Well there's, you know, different philosophies. So ultimately it kind of depends on the strategy that is employed by a lawyer and where a deposition fits into the discovery process. I think it's helpful for people to know, so we talked about interrogatories and requests for productions, but almost always those, those Depositions are going to take place after the parties have exchanged mandatory disclosures. So the sworn financial statement and just the basic mandatory disclosures, the tax returns, but at least the most common area where Depositions fall in is towards the end of discovery maybe right before trial. And that both parties have had an opportunity to, you know, Eric has answered interrogatories, so who the name of his employer, how much he makes those sorts of things.

Ryan Kalamaya (5m 13s):
But Melanie's attorney, she might have additional questions that she doesn't really understand, the attorney doesn't really understand. And so really there's kind of like an exploratory, like truly like a discovery deposition and you know, where you're just really trying to find that the answer to various questions and that's probably gonna occur early in the discovery phase. And then there might be follow-up questions about documents. But you know, really if, if Melanie doesn't understand how Eric's business is run or where the documents reside for his trust for example, then there might be a, an early deposition and that Melanie's attorney could be really just like, kind of almost like on a fishing expedition.

Ryan Kalamaya (5m 57s):
But then you also have, if Melanie has a theory of the case, her attorney has a theory of the case where she has done some research and she wants Eric to admit to various things such as his business or trust agreements or premarital agreements. There might be a a a particular strategy And, they that Eric doesn't really understand that Melanie's attorney's kind of laying a trap and really the point of the deposition is to file a motion. There could be a motion for summary judgment or something that there's a real kind of main purpose to that and that's a different kind of deposition than would be a discovery deposition. And then finally really you, you've got the kind of the cross examination of getting ready for trial and, and the reason that that's important, and it's probably the most common I would say is that I, if Melanie and Eric are unfortunately gonna go to trial or it's looking like they're gonna go to trial and we'll talk about settlement and how that all relates.

Ryan Kalamaya (6m 57s):
But she wants to know what Eric is going to say. And one of the things, you know, Amy that you And I deal with as a trial attorney is we don't know how good our clients are going to be under pressure and Eric might be this really charismatic, engaging person but he could completely crack under pressure. And, but more importantly what Melanie's attorney wants to know is what is Eric going to say at trial? And then it locks him into a particular narrative and a particular story. And because then it's in a transcript and, and what happens is if he, you know, at a later point at trial says, listen, like you know at the deposition he said that the light was was green or that he made a hundred thousand dollars a year, then at the trial he says, well the light was red or something differing and said I made $250,000 last year.

Ryan Kalamaya (7m 53s):
Then Melanie's attorney's gonna get up and do what's called impeachment and say listen at the deposition I asked you this question and you said X and now you're saying Y and you know that really then everyone knows what Eric is going to say or at least they have an idea of what he said before. And one of the cardinal rules for any sort of trial work is you never a ask a question that you don't know the answer to. And so it's an opportunity for Melanie's attorney to kind of really practice a particular angle and see if, you know, he or she can get under Eric's skin. And really Melanie might say, listen, Eric is the most charismatic guy and and it really could be true like Eric could, you know, be fantastic and you know, then we kind of, everyone understands And they, that'll be a guiding principle for settlement.

Ryan Kalamaya (8m 46s):
So in your experience Amy, how do you deposition to really relate to settlement and how can they they improve the chances of settlement?

Amy Goscha (8m 56s):
Well I think you can, like you said, if you're using a deposition as a fact gathering mechanism, then you have the facts. And like you said, you know like if you are tying a client into a certain position like it's there, it's hard for them to change that. So you can either file a motion for summary judgment, file a motion for declaratory judgment or you can take it and say look like here's the facts, here's a statute like you know, we need to settle. So you can use it that way as well. And I think, you know, just to comment on it's every attorney's worst nightmare to ask a question that they don't know the answer to. So we talk about doing all of these things, you know, we talk about Melanie Wolf's attorney so you can take all of these Depositions, can you talk to me Ryan a little bit about the cost benefit analysis?

Ryan Kalamaya (9m 44s):
Yeah, so I think people, you know, they need to understand Depositions that can be really productive but they also are generally pretty expensive. And the reason is that there's a lot of preparation that goes into these both in kind of outlining the questions. If I am taking Melanie's deposition then I'm gonna have to put together some outline and gather up the documents and there could be, you know, a fair amount of time involved in that. And so I'm gonna talk to Eric about hey this is gonna cost this amount And I, you know, generally will kinda give a budget for him. And we will go through what do we hope to achieve and then what's the gonna be the, the cost And there's gonna be certain cases, parental relocations we've previously talked about that those are like the nuclear bomb in a Divorce.

Ryan Kalamaya (10m 37s):
And so really you might at the very beginning have a deposition fairly early on and you ask, you know, Melanie, why are you relocating? What schools have you looked at and really tie someone in and then you use that transcript for the the parental responsibilities evaluator. And you could potentially do that strategically very early on before Melanie and her attorney really have an idea of where you're going. Ar you know, Amy, you And I have dealt with a case where a premarital agreement was challenged And we had to take a ton of Depositions and so we had to kind of find out did the notaries, did they remember if someone was crying or they were forced and the circumstances and the chain of custody And, they were pretty short little Depositions but there were a lot of 'em and we've seen them in trust cases where there's a dispute over trust.

Ryan Kalamaya (11m 29s):
So really it, it kind of depends on what is, what is that issue when a dealing with the cost benefit analysis. Anything that you think listeners should, should know on that point?

Amy Goscha (11m 40s):
Yeah, I mean I think you we're talking a lot about like taking Depositions of the parties but you can also take Depositions of other third parties. Like in that case, you know, we took Depositions of you know, like a previous attorney or like you said the notaries. So figuring that out when you're looking at the cost benefit analysis is figuring out who, who has the information that I need when determining, you know, to take their deposition. And I also think that within the rule, I think they're, I can't remember exactly what the timeframe is, but there is, there are limits and parameters on how long you can keep someone in a deposition.

Ryan Kalamaya (12m 18s):
Yeah it used to be it's, it's six hours as of, you know, when we're recording this and it but it used to be seven right? And you know the rule 16.2 for divorces, for dissolution of marriage actions, it contemplates that you can take the deposition of the other party and then you have to seek permission And. We have a case right now where the other party is trying to take the deposition of our client's girlfriend and you know, we believe it's kind of just harassing but you know, it's like one of those things where the court generally is gonna have a fair amount leeway and And I think it's helpful for people to understand judges, you know, most of the time they've either have some experience with other like civil litigation or they preside over a civil docket and Depositions are a lot more common in those cases.

Ryan Kalamaya (13m 4s):
And so generally speaking the judge is going to let people take Depositions of other parties. But you kind of have to get into the proportionality factors that we previously talked about on just the general discovery. But you know, we really see them as being the kind of crux of a, of a case. And, they often do occur at the very end And they can be productive because then everyone, the cards are out on the table and it's really helpful for me to have my client listen to the other party cuz I think that is something that often we don't talk enough about but really feeling heard and a lot of people, they go into their Divorce And, they, they just wanna be heard so they wanna tell their story on the other end.

Ryan Kalamaya (13m 52s):
Amy a lot of our clients, they're terrified of going to court and you know, when we demystify and it's one of the reasons for this podcast, it's one of the reasons for this episode in particular, no one says Ryan that Divorce was awesome, like that was so fun. And by the same token, no one says that deposition was amazing, I had so much fun it it does it their, their grueling experiences. But if I've prepared my client like we'll talk about practicing properly, then my client will come out and Eric will look at me and be like, ah, that actually wasn't that bad. And then, but that can also result in someone being like, you know what, I actually am not scared to go to trial now because I've kind of done it and like the fear of litigation, the fear like not withstanding the cost, I mean that is a, it's an, it's a cost of the stress and the time involved in a deposition but there, there is kind of a other side of the coin and that is that people could feel emboldened by you know, having their deposition taken and really not being that bad

Amy Goscha (15m 4s):
Even. Yeah. As an attorney. The other thing I would say is that, you know, sometimes attorneys will take a deposition of like a p e after you know, the p e report is out. Like sometimes you're curious as to you know, what findings and how they affected the recommendations or you know, running certain fact scenarios around them and you don't want them to turn their answer in court. So, you know, I haven't personally done that recently, but I know attorneys that will use that as, you know, something to consider.

Ryan Kalamaya (15m 36s):
Yeah, back when I first started cutting my teeth before or even after being a prosecutor, cuz the criminal law, they don't, we don't really have Depositions in criminal law. I mean our firm does criminal defense and you know, Michael Fox, our partner in personal injury, he's doing Depositions all the time because that's just the nature of, of personal injury. But in in family law we'll see the, the Depositions, but you know, it used to be when I first, you know, was in civil litigation with another firm is you would have to do Expert discovery and that is when it gets really expensive where you are doing Depositions And, they slightly modified the rules on expert disclosures because it used to be that the expert would put in their report some just kind of general term and then at trial they would just expand on that and it was kind of this Trojan horse and so you would have to really lock an expert in and now the, the rules of evidence or the rules of civil procedure are really kind of structured such that the, the expert really is confined to the, you know, the, the outline of their report And, they can't really deviate.

Ryan Kalamaya (16m 43s):
So at least in my experience, those experts that Depositions really haven't they, they're not as nearly as, as as common. But I think it's, it's really helpful for people to understand that, you know, they themselves and probably the most relevant audience for this episode is people that are in a Divorce that are looking at having a deposition or another attorney that is kind of weighing whether or not they should or shouldn't ask for a deposition. I mean in my experience I've seen people that the case could have settled if they had just simply taken a deposition and instead they just want kinda roll into court and especially when you got kids involved that it's, it's money well spent and at least my policy for going into trial is I'm gonna take a deposition of anyone that's gonna testify and I know a lot of other attorneys that that is their general policy.

Amy Goscha (17m 35s):
Yeah, that is. So what are tips that you give to people regarding deposition?

Ryan Kalamaya (17m 41s):
Well the first is Bill Gates, super smart guy and it's don't be like Bill Gates in his deposition and there's YouTube videos, he, it's the prime example of where he was the smartest guy in the room and he had his deposition taken in the USV Microsoft when the United States was suing Microsoft for antitrust and and anti-competitive behavior. And David boy who is the lawyer just shredded him, And, they just went into trial And, they essentially just hit play. And you know, the important point is that video Depositions deposit can be videoed and so you can play that at trial and so there's various kind of YouTube clips of things that people have said or done and you can just tell how evasive and how arrogant they are.

Ryan Kalamaya (18m 33s):
And, but really the point is is that you can't win your case in a deposition. So in, in other words, Eric cannot win his case, he's not gonna be able to persuade Melanie's attorney. And so really you can lose it though, where he can offer too much information. And that kind of brings us to the second tip and that is that Eric, if he's in, if he's having his deposition taken, he needs to very carefully listen to the question and answer the question and only the question. So Amy, can you talk a little bit more about how that may be different than just like normal human interaction and communication?

Amy Goscha (19m 15s):
Yeah, I mean I think if they're asking when is the last time you spoke to your spouse from December to current, you should answer within that timeframe. Like don't just, you know, give a broad answer. So you just have to very specifically listen to the question. And I think a lot of people just because they feel under pressure, like if you don't understand the question, like ask them to restate the question and if you don't know the answer to the question, say I don't know the answer. And another example is that people will nod their head yes and no and that needs to be recorded, you need to say yes or no. So those are simple things and when we're communicating, you know, I can't remember what the percentage, but it's a high percentage is is nonverbal communication, you know, Depositions are based off of verbal communication So that's a little bit different.

Ryan Kalamaya (20m 9s):
And you know, when you And I started this episode, I asked you what's going on and you talked about Depositions and we're gonna record and that's how normal where I come to you and I'll call you about a case and I'll say, Hey Amy, what's, what's going on? And you know, hey I I want to talk to you about this and like this point you And I we kinda like can finish each other's sentences and it's because that's just like normal human behavior and So that we know where people are going, we know what's happening And, we are not actually listening to the question. I mean at the grocery store people will just say, Hey, have a nice day And, they don't really mean it, but that's just like a common parlance in like what how we interact and what people need to understand is that we are reverting back and you have to listen and pause.

Ryan Kalamaya (20m 58s):
And so I tell, you know, our clients, it's no kind of real secret to every lawyer should be, I mean we, we have a general kind of tip letter that we email that we send to clients with general tips that are similar to this. But you know, really listening to the question and only the question, but then you gotta pause and the reason you pause is that allows me, if I am defending Eric's deposition, I can then object. But then also you then replay and you say, what did they ask me? And so they say, what is the color of the sky? And you don't say, oh it's a lovely day, I'm looking at the sun, the flowers are so nice and you know, it looks like there's a cloud over there and you give this like long narrative instead it's like, it's blue or I don't know, I'm inside.

Ryan Kalamaya (21m 48s):
And where you just say, I don't know. And then at later when you go to trial, then the person says Aha, the other attorney says, you said you didn't know what the color of this guy is. Well then I can have the opportunity to stand up and be like, Hey Eric, why didn't you know what the color of the guy was? And he'll be like, because I was inside. And so it's like those sorts of things where people, they want, they want their Divorce to be over And, they wanna volunteer information and it is so counter to how we interact and what I always advise our clients is you wanna be like that socially awkward teenager or the horrible dinner party guest that you get sit nas to at like a wedding or a dinner party or something where you ask questions And, they just give the one word answers and it's just like pulling teeth.

Ryan Kalamaya (22m 38s):
And really that is what a deposition is like because the other party, they are your adversary and at trial they're gonna be asking questions and they're gonna be leading questions. So it's gonna be yes or no. Like Eric the color of the sky was blue, yes. But then when I'm asking Eric questions at trial, I can say, hey, tell us about your day. And that's an opportunity for Eric to say, oh I was having an amazing day, I did this, I did that. And, and people don't understand that. And so really the key is to practice. So you know, Amy, do you wanna talk a little bit about the practice and, and what people can do for preparation on a deposition?

Amy Goscha (23m 22s):
Yeah, And I think that you And I probably both do this, but we will bring our clients in And, we will ask them questions And, we will help them with that. You know, I think the biggest piece that I tell my clients is you're going to be anxious. It's not fun. You might not like the question, just know that you're gonna be defensive and you're gonna feel like you need to explain away. Like it's not, not the time to explain away, listen to the question, answer the question

Ryan Kalamaya (23m 50s):
And I think when people know, when Eric, when I tell Eric, hey listen, they are going to, there are, there are some weaknesses or there are issues in your case and you need to own them or at least be aware in any initial consultation or at some point in the early stages I'll ask Eric, what's the worst that Melanie's going to say about you? And you can better believe that that is the one of the issues that Eric Melanie's attorney is gonna get into with with Eric. And you know, he needs to just own it and you know, move on and not try to explain it because he, you know, that's where we come in and at trial and you can, you know, do that.

Ryan Kalamaya (24m 33s):
But I think it's helpful for people to prepare and we've, I've used witness experts, we had Jessica Brelo on the, on the show, she talked about witness preparation, but really just practicing over and over. And the key that I, you know, I have observed Amy, And, I I know, like civil litigators that do tons and tons of Depositions, they will just BS for the first hour or two hours because they know that Eric has been advised. Hey, Eric just listened to the question. So at the very beginning Eric's listened to the question. So they'll say what, what's your name? And Eric will be like, pause awkward and be like it's Eric and he's really anxious and he remembers the rule, listen to the question, but then two hours, three hours into it he's hungry, he's gotta pee.

Ryan Kalamaya (25m 26s):
He is just like, he reverts back into normal, you know, human behavior and it's at that point that Melanie's attorney is gonna start asking the, the, the hard questions and then he'll just ramble on and on and unless he is really prepared. But that is something that is a strategy. I've seen people where they spend four hours really just asking about where they went to school and how they met and like it's kind of really kind of inconsequential. But people, they don't, you know, they're not prepared. They haven't looked at their sworn financial statement And, they haven't looked at their interrogatory answers or their bank statements or their tax returns.

Ryan Kalamaya (26m 8s):
And it's fine if they say, I don't know, but you better believe that at trial they're gonna be asked that and all of a sudden they know That is where I think the lack of preparation where people, they just don't understand what is important, where they can really rely on, on our guidance.

Amy Goscha (26m 25s):
Where And I think, you know, attorneys can turn people up as on timelines, right? And they'll ask the same question maybe in the beginning and then that towards the end and they'll get a different answer and that just goes to the credibility of your client as the witness, you know. So I think like you said, preparation like make sure you know the facts and the timeline of your life and your case,

Ryan Kalamaya (26m 47s):
Right? So common questions are gonna be Eric is, is Melanie a good mother? And if he's not prepared to answer that and he says yeah, she's a fantastic mother, then you know, then if she wants to, if she's relocating and there's a p e and he fills out some sort of intake form that kind of goes through the litany of complaints that he has about Melanie's drinking and you know how abrasive she is with the kids, then bear believe that her attorney's gonna go back to that deposition transcript and say, you know, you said that she was a good mom and other common questions are gonna be how much is the house worth? What are your expenses in going through the sworn financial statement?

Ryan Kalamaya (27m 29s):
How much maintenance or or alimony can you pay? And you know those sorts of questions, they can really be helpful and if people lie in their deposition and it does happen, then they can be prosecuted for perjury. But the most important thing that people need to understand is that it's going to be used at a trial. And the best case scenario, you know, going back to the Bill Gates deposition example, the best case scenario for Bill Gates is not to outsmart David boy in his deposition. It's that the transcript, if it's printed out, it used to be printed out And, we would get these sealed envelopes.

Ryan Kalamaya (28m 9s):
And, they would be bound in FedEx is that it's just dropped in the waste basket and it's never relied on or referenced at trial. And that's the best case scenario. And you know, if people, they should not speculate, they shouldn't be guessing. If they don't know then they can say, I don't know. And then at a later point if, you know, if it becomes important then they can either change their answer and there's an opportunity after a deposition is concluded for them to kind of update their answers. And there can be some pros and cons you know, to that. But if the sonographer, so after a deposition I think it's helpful for people to understand after the Depositions is concluded, then the sonographer week or two or three weeks afterwards we'll send, now it's in, in a pdf you know, format and they'll send it and there'll be a transcript and if there's an error that the sonographer just said, you know, Joe Bob instead of Bob Joe, then you know you can correct those.

Ryan Kalamaya (29m 10s):
But then you know, when you go to trial And they can be used, you know, the deposition transcripts as we've referenced before, you know, can be provided to the p e, they can be provided to the business valuation expert or some other expert to kind of interpret, but they can be changed. And then ultimately they are signed and it's under penalty of perjury, So that oath that they give at the beginning of a deposition. It's, it's as if they are testifying in trial. And I. Guess a couple other things that we haven't really covered is that there's a dispute over whether or not a question is appropriate and people they can get into the scope of a deposition, what an attorney, what Melanie's attorney can ask. Eric is a lot more broad or a lot broader in a deposition than would be at trial.

Ryan Kalamaya (29m 56s):
So, you know, it might not be relevant, you know, where he went to school or what he did, what street he lived on in second grade. But you can generally ask that in a deposition and that, you know, if you obstruct a deposition then you can call the judge and get him on the phone and, but there can be some major consequences if Eric is just like, you know what, I'm walking out here, I'm not gonna answer this. You know, that said, people that are gonna ask about, you know, spousal affairs or really kind of getting into the harassment aspects unless it matters for economic fault or the kids, then there is some leeway, And I think attorneys can, you know, really differ on how they approach those.

Ryan Kalamaya (30m 38s):
But you know, Depositions are are critical component of any sort of litigated Divorce case.

Amy Goscha (30m 45s):
Yeah. So I think people don't realize that they have to sign their deposition after it's taken. There's scenarios where if you plead like the fifth Amendment, I had a case where we got, we had a Discovery master special master that we called to referee disputes. So there are tools that you can use as attorneys that we can put in place to kinda resolve some of those disputes instead of calling the judge,

Ryan Kalamaya (31m 8s):
Right? Yeah. Cause they, and that's the, the only real example where people or attorneys are gonna say, do Eric, do not answer this question if it's a privilege. And there could be attorney-client privilege or there can be some sort of fifth Amendment. So if Melanie's attorney says, did you like hit her and it results in some sort of domestic violence accusation, there could potentially be, listen, I'm not gonna answer that because I'm gonna plead the fifth. Or there's some sort of tax fraud or lying or something like that. And, and people need to understand that that can be in held against them in a civil case because it's not a criminal case.

Ryan Kalamaya (31m 48s):
But those are generally the opportunities for an attorney to jump in and you know, oftentimes we'll say objection, that's irrelevant. And then Eric, you still need to answer it and, and really kind of address whether or not you can ask that question at trial. But it's just a matter of just kind of moving on. And I, think Depositions, I think there's not a ton of information for Divorce Depositions out there, especially in Colorado, but they are something that people should be aware of and hopefully this episode helps guide them through the process. Well hopefully that's helpful information for people. Until next time, this is Ryan Kalamaya Amy Goscha for Divorce at Altitude.

Ryan Kalamaya (32m 32s):
Hey everyone, this is Ryan again. Thank you for joining us on Divorce at Altitude. If you found our tips, insight, or discussion helpful, please tell a friend about this podcast. For show notes, additional resources or links mentioned on today's episode, visit Divorce at Altitude dot com. Follow us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen in. Many of our episodes are also posted on YouTube. You can also find Amy and me at Kalamaya.law or 970-315-2365. That's K A L A M A Y A.law.