Legal deposition summary is a shortened version of a deposition transcript that lets attorneys communicate the important points of any case. 


A deposition runs for hundreds of pages, so a summary saves time by providing the gist of the transcript. A deposition summary ranges from 10 to 30 pages and covers every crucial detail of the case.  


Due to the complex nature of formulating a summary, many law firms employ legal deposition services for the task. 


Depositions provide both sides the opportunity to find out about witnesses and their testimonies. A summary condenses this information into a workable format and enables lawyers to prepare better. 

Different types of deposition summaries

There are mainly three types of deposition summaries: chronological, topical, and page-line. 



It presents all the facts in chronological order. Mostly criminal and personal injury cases utilize this type.



This provides the attorney a quick overview of the deposition based on the subject or topic of the case. It’s mostly used in compensation and auto accident cases. 



This follows the order of the deposition and summarizes page by page, sometimes even line-by-line. It’s a preferred format for financial and commercial cases.

What is included in a deposition summary?

It contains all the facts stated by the witness, devoid of any personal opinions. There is no fixed length for a deposition summary but shorter ones are preferred. 


All the main points in the testimony are recognized and noted down, along with additional points that may be useful to the lawyer.  

How do firms prepare deposition summaries?

Creating a deposition summary is a time and cost-intensive task, which is why many firms outsource to legal deposition services while some still do it in-house. 


  • In-house: An attorney or a paralegal reads the entire deposition (spanning hundreds of pages) and formulates the summary. Since most clients and companies today don’t reimburse hourly firm rates or provide lower rates for summaries, law firms have to undertake the cost.   


  • Outsourcing: The firm hires a third party to craft summaries. These are less expensive than in-house summaries and leave the attorney much time to prepare for the case. 

Which is better?

If time and effort are taken into account, outsourcing is always better than preparing deposition summaries in-house. Not only is it less expensive but also ensures a higher deliverable quality. 


Legal deposition services are also approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) and the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA), so law firms are free to utilize them.  


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