Deposition Summaries v/s Transcripts: The Key Differences

If you are a litigator, then chances are you will be involved in some form or the other with deposition summaries . In this case, the best thing to do would be to go through transcripts and then compare them with deposition summary examples. But before going into that, it is important to get a basic understanding of what both of these documents are.


While they are more or less the same thing and they basically serve the same purpose, deposition summaries and transcripts are fundamentally different documents. The former is usually a smaller document that usually covers only part of the deposition, while the latter is a document that encapsulates all of it. In practice, law firms need both at some point.


A transcript is a written record of past events as they occurred. If you are attending a hearing or trial, one or more court reporters would be employed to take down the proceedings. This includes the attorneys’ speeches, witness testimonies and then any conversations between counsels and/or witnesses. All of this information would be converted into plain text format by the court reporter that can not only be used for research but also as evidence. The number of characters contained in a transcript will depend on the state where it is being filed in and their requirements regarding transcripts.

Deposition Summaries

Deposition summaries are different from transcripts in that they do not include all of the questions and answers, but rather just those parts that are relevant to the case at hand. They also include only those parts of each answer which are necessary to understand what was said by the witness.

The statements, or “exhibits,” included in deposition summaries are typically only those which were referred to during questioning, rather than every piece of evidence entered into evidence at trial.

The purpose of these summaries is to help the attorney prepare for subsequent stages of litigation by highlighting the most important issues that were discussed in the deposition.


By outlining the key differences between deposition summaries and transcripts, we hope that this blog will help you decide which one is best for your case. The one thing we will warn you about: your jurisdiction may require one or the other, so make sure to check before blowing a ton of money on a document that you can’t use.

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Jovany Maxwell