Top Insider Tips to Prepare for A Depsition as a Party
Get Deposition Preparation Tips from an Experienced Litigation Attorney. Tips you may not hear elsewhere.
Purpose of a DepositionThe purpose of a deposition is for the adversary's attorney to a) get information, b) find out where more information can be obtained, and c) to lock in testimony.
By locking in testimony, the adversary may try to prevent you from providing contradictory evidence at trial, and then to portray you as untruthful for all testimony.
Win by Not LosingI have a saying: "You can't win your case at a deposition, but you sure can lose your case."
Listen to your attorney's advice. Review the case. Review prior discovery responses. Be consistent.
Answer with care. If your attorney starts to speak, stop talking immediately.
Be careful using "always" and "never" if you really mean "usually" or "rarely".
Only answer what was asked - while you may be tempted to try to explain why you should win when answering each question, resist - you may inadvertently hurt your case.
Don't anticipate the next question. It is up to the questioning attorney to follow-up. The attorney may fail to do so. Don't do his or her job for them.
Win by WinningWin by being a good witness. Come across as honest and truthful.
While the transcript will not reflect your demeanor, the questioning attorney will take note of how you will appear to a jury at trial.
If you "appear" evasive, even if completely truthful, it may have a negative impact on your impression to the jury.
If you can't remember, be honest about it. "I'm sorry, but this happened 3 years ago and I was concentrating on …. rather than what you are asking."
Only answer what was asked - Don't worry if certain subjects were skipped. You will have an opportunity to tell your story through your attorney at trial.