De bene esse is a Latin term that means "of well being". In a legal context, it refers to things done conditionally; allowed to stand for the time being; done in anticipation of future need. For example, an appearance de bene esse is a special appearance allowing a person to fulfill their obligation to appear without submitting to the court's jurisdiction unless there is a final determination that the right to object to jurisdiction has been waived.
De bene esse depositions are often used in cases where the person sought to be examined may not be available in the future, such as being ill or away from the court's jurisdiction. Such depositions consist of a video taped examination of a witness, or a party, in order to to preserve the sworn testimony for use at a later time.