Tips for a Good Deposition

clients consulting with their lawyerWhen you find out that you are going to be deposed, you may feel overwhelmed and nervous. If you have some idea of what the deposition involves beforehand, it may help ease your mind and permit you to better focus on your case. Of course, you will consult with your attorney in advance to obtain legal counsel and review your case.

A deposition usually takes place in an attorneys conference room either the defense or plaintiff lawyer. The plaintiff lawyer poses questions to the defendant. What is spoken is recorded and is very similar to testimony in a courtroom. Everything you say during a deposition can be brought up at trial.

The following are four tips for a good deposition:

Keep your cool A deposition is the time for dressing and acting professionally, whether the deposition is videotaped or not. It is not the place for ranting, going on tangents or acting belligerent. Stay calm and keep your body language relaxed.

Answer directly Only answer questions that are asked. Do not volunteer information. If you do so, the opposing attorney can venture into areas of questioning that were not thought of before. Even informal pleasantries can sometimes reveal too much information. Give a handshake, a brief greeting and begin the deposition.

Stop and listen Listen carefully to the question then pause before answering. This gives you time to answer coherently as well as allowing time for your attorney to object. If your attorney objects, wait until your attorney signals you to continue.

Prepare thoroughly Cooperation between you and your attorney is imperative. Let your attorney put you in the hot seat during the preparation process. Speak up about any case weaknesses you can think of.

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