Written Testimony Law and Legal Definition
Written testimony refers to testimony given out of court by deposition or affidavit.
In case of a deposition a witness is placed under oath and swears to tell the truth. The parties involved in the case will be represented by an attorney and that attorney will have an opportunity to question the witness (referred to as a deponent for deposition purposes). A court reporter who is present records every word that is spoken. Depositions can be either video or audio recorded. After the completion of the deposition the court reporter will create a written transcript of the deposition. The transcript will be made available to all parties.
In case of affidavits, the person making the signed statement (affiant) takes an oath that the contents are, to the best of his/her knowledge, true. It is also signed by a notary or some other judicial officer that can administer oaths, affirming that the person signing the affidavit was under oath when doing so. Affidavits preserve the testimony of persons who are unable to appear in court due to illness, incarceration, moving out-of-state, death, etc. Judges frequently accept an affidavit instead of the testimony of the witness and are used in place of live testimony in many circumstances (for example, when a motion is filed, a supporting affidavit may be filed with it).