The Dreaded Deposition Part 1

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Over the years I have had the opportunity to be involved in many depositions. Some went very well, others did not and, there were even some surprises during the process. In this article I will share some of the learning moments I had during and after the deposition process.

A deposition is actually a fact gathering process. The attorneys on each side of the case try to find out as much as they can about what the other side on the case knows or think they know. This process is called discovery.

The fact finding or discovery during the deposition helps the attorneys on both sides to develop a litigation “strategy and tactics.” The strategy is the overall goal of the attorney and client and, the tactics are the stepping stones used to achieve the goal.
The people involved in the deposition are usually your attorney and the opposing attorney. However, I have been involved in depositions where the clients and other interested attorneys were also in attendance.

Before being deposed, you will take an oath to tell the truth and there will normally be a stenographer in attendance. Everything you say will be documented by the stenographer. At times there will be a camera recording the event.

The location will normally be in an attorney’s office or some other suitable location. The deposition allows both sides to feel out the witnesses, especially the expert witnesses. This allows the attorneys to assess knowledge of the facts, along with credibility of the jury. However, my last deposition was given over the phone while I was sitting in my home office. That was a first for me.

Depositions are normally last about 4 hours; however, depending on the complexity of the case the deposition could last several days.
In part 2 of I will identify how to prepare and positively get through the dreaded deposition.