Top 10 Tips for Your Deposition
How to prepare for your deposition
Top 10 Tips for Preparing For Your Deposition1. ALWAYS tell the truth. If you lie or exaggerate, you will lose.
2. You are in control of what you say and are the most powerful person in the room. Be professional and courteous regardless of how the lawyers act. Stay above the fray and be relentlessly polite.
3. There are three purposes of a deposition: a. to see who you are, so dress accordingly; b. to ask you questions they know the answers to and see your if your response matches; c. to 'discover' and ask you questions they don't know the answers to.
4. Don't answer a question you do not understand. You have the right to understand what is being asked and the right to clear and fair questions.
5. Watch for rephrasing of your answers, such as "So what you are telling me...." "Is it fair to say..." Make sure that the words and phrases are not subtly changed.
Top 10 Tips for Preparing For Your Deposition6. You may be asked about documents or records. You have the right to see them before responding to ensure that they are in the proper context.
7. Conceptually there are only 5 possible answers to a closed ended question: a. Yes; b. No; c. I don't know; d. I don't remember; e. My attorney instructs me not to answer the question. There is absolutely nothing wrong if you do not know or do not remember.
8. A deposition is not calculated to "get to your story." This is not a test of your charm or intelligence or your chance to convince the other lawyer.
9. The harder you try to move things along and be helpful, the longer and harder it will be. Short and concise answers means ACTIVE listening--not volunteering information. LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN. Don't answer more than you are asked and focus on the question.
10. Do not play the "definition" game but if you do not understand a term, word or phrase in a question, you have the right to have it clarified before you answer.