Deposition Trials and Tribulations

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As a young attorney, preparing for a deposition can be daunting. You’re not only charged with learning the facts of the case, but you must also learn the rules of a deposition and how to sharpen your style. Moreover, you are to discover knew information about the case or things you did not know prior to the deposition — after all this is the purpose of a deposition. With that said, I am all for any tips that I can learn to improve my deposition skills. In civil practice, learning to take a good deposition is invaluable. I take three or more depositions a week and learn a valuable lesson each time.

For instance, early on I remember hearing experienced attorneys say, “strike that” mid question. I never did it, but I thought it might be an opportunity to create a cleaner transcript. Could it be that I could use this trick to have the reporter erase what was said to create a more easily read and understood question in the transcript. It was a practice that I immediately put into action, until I reviewed the transcript of my next deposition and realized that “strike that” did absolutely nothing. It simply added a few additional words into the transcript. This is just one of many lessons that I’ve learned in my short history of conducting depositions.

This attorney shares a number of her “teachable moments” during her young adolescent attorney years. A time period quite familiar.

Thousands of young attorneys will sit down to take their first deposition every year the same way I did, with roughly the same amount of dread and exactly the same amount of training.

lot and none whatsoever.

So that someone might benefit from my own painful experience more than twenty-five years ago, I give you my earliest deposition mistakes.

See, On the Job Deposition Training and for a lighter note see CNN’s article highlighting Justin Beiber’s 2014 deposition, Beiber Don’t Argue With the Lawyers.

 

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