10/9/18 Depositions vs interrogatories in Discovery
A deposition is a sworn testimony by a party to the lawsuit or by any witness, recorded by an authorized court official. The person deposed gives testimony and answers questions asked by the attorneys from both sides.
Interrogatories are written questions for which written answers are prepared and then signed under oath. They are directed to a party to the lawsuit, not to a witness, and the party can prepare answers with the aid of an attorney.
Whereas depositions are useful for obtaining candid responses from a party and answers not prepared in advance, interrogatories are designed to obtain accurate information about specific topics.
Interrogatories can be quicker, less costly, and less complicated than depositions, but there are downsides. Since the questions are written, the witness may have more time to think and craft answers, rather than providing more candid answers during discovery. There is also no chance for back and forth questioning in an interrogatory, unless a subsequent deposition is scheduled.