In most civil cases, depositions play an important role. For many people, the thought of taking a deposition can cause stress and anxiety. Luckily, there are simple tips and strategies that you can use to make the deposition process go smoothly.
- While preparing for the deposition, try to be relaxed.
- If you can avoid thinking too much, you may be less distracted which can make the deposition process easier.
Here are some additional things to consider before taking a deposition:
1. The Basics
Once a lawsuit has been filed, the other attorney has the right to find out how much information you know about the case in the form of a deposition. A deposition is simply a question and answer session with the attorney who is representing the interests of the other party. Any facts, recollections, and impressions of relevant parties collected in depositions can be very important to the case.
- A skilled personal injury lawyer Milwaukee WI relies on will be present during the deposition as well to offer you support.
- The other attorney will ask you questions, and you will answer them to the best of your ability.
- A court reporter will also be present at the deposition to make a record of everything that is said. In certain cases, the deposition may be videotaped.
2. Kinds of Questions That May Be Asked
- The attorney will likely ask questions about your background, so you should expect general questions concerning your age, occupation and education.
- After the general questions, you will be asked about additional information pertaining to the actual case.
- If you do not understand a question, you should request the attorney to clarify.
- Once the deposition has started, you cannot consult with your attorney. The role of your attorney is to protect you from any inappropriate questions. If your attorney objects to a question, do not answer it. Since there isn’t a judge present at the deposition, your attorney may temporarily object and then allow you to answer.
- If you need a break at any point, do not hesitate to ask for one.
3. Keep Your Answers Short
Remember that a deposition is not a conversation. Take some time and think about each question before you answer.
- Do not get so comfortable that the attorney can lead you to say something that you do not want to say or imply.
- Take control of the deposition by staying in charge of the pacing. If her or she is going too fast, slow your answers.
- If you feel that your answer to a question is incomplete, you can ask to explain it in further detail to minimize the risk of misinterpretation. However, if your answer is longer than a sentence, you are likely giving away too much information.
4. Do Not Neglect the Basics
Make sure you receive a good night’s sleep before taking the deposition. You should eat some food and drink water beforehand so that you have energy and are not likely to be dehydrated or feeling poorly. This can also lessen the effects of stress from the deposition.
5. Look at All Records or Reports
For any questions where the attorney is referring to a record or a report, you need to ask to see the report so that you can verify their information. If you don’t recall the report or record that they are talking about, tell the attorney that you do not remember. For every question, answer to the best of your ability and recollection and be truthful.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Hickey & Turim, S.C. for their insight into best depositions practices.