If this is your first deposition you may understandably be nervous. This is new, scary and you may feel like a fish out of water. But not to worry, that is what this article is for.
We will examine a few tips to help you be ready for your first deposition. Some of these tips will refer you directly to your deposition summary but let’s have a look and get you ready for your upcoming deposition.
Have An Outline
You want to use your words and questions to the best of your ability. One way to do this is to outline your main points or questions that you want to include. This is something that you include in your deposition summary or something you can make separately.
Having an outline will make you sound better prepared, but try not to overcomplicate it. Do not write out full questions but instead write just a few words that highlight the main point and then it will be easier to use in a live setting. This is what is referred to as extemporaneous delivery.
Know The Facts
Both the attorney and the client should be well prepared and have thoroughly reviewed all available information, documentation and testimonies. You should discuss the case at length so you know what you are dealing with, can separate fact from perspective and so you can effectively take the deposition.
Check The Rules
Read all the court rules that apply to your deposition and then once you have finished, read them again. Get really familiar with the stipulations that apply to your deposition.
Some attorneys will agree to standard stipulations but that won’t help you much unless you know what they are. Do your thorough research so you know all the details beforehand.
Control The Room
How you project yourself from the start will affect the control you maintain throughout. Show yourself to be calm, confident and extremely competent. Be the first one there, so you control it all from the beginning and show the court reporter where to set up.
Position yourself where you are most comfortable and only let the witness and his legal council in when you are ready. You should maintain full control throughout deciding when it starts and more importantly when it ends.
You will get objections so don’t be surprised. If you are not sure why they are objecting, you can ask them to clarify. If you think the objection is not valid you can ignore it.
However, you should never start arguing the point. Just make a decision and move on. Remember that everything you say is being written down and you do not want a debate on record.
Don’t get rattled by these objections. Just take them in your stride and no matter how you may feel on the inside, project your decisions with confidence.