Re: How Do I Prepare for Workcomp Deposition. Suggestions/Advice
GUIDELINES FOR GIVING YOUR DEPOSITION
WHAT IS A DEPOSITION?
A deposition is your testimony under oath. You will be asked questions by the opposing
and your answer will be recorded by an official court reporter. There is little difference
between testimony at a deposition and testimony in the courtroom except there is no judge
presiding. Rulings over inadmissible matters will be made by the judge at the time of the
trial, not on the taking of the deposition.
PURPOSE OF A DEPOSITION
Opposing counsel is taking your deposition for four reasons:
1 . They want to find out what facts you have in your actual knowledge and possession
regarding the issues in your lawsuit. They are interested in what your story is now
and what it is going to be at the trial.
2. They want you to testify to a specific story so that you will have to tell the same story
at the trial and they will know in advance what your story is going to be.
3. Your testimony given in a deposition may be read at trial. They hope to catch you
in a lie or omission because if they were to do so, they can claim at the trial that you
are not a truthful person and, therefore, your testimony should not be believed on
any of the points, particularly the crucial ones.
4. A deposition may be used to narrow the issues in your case. Stipulations of fact and
other agreements may be made during the course of the deposition which may
substantially shorten the trial.
All of the above are very legitimate purposes and opposing counsel has every right to take
your deposition for these purposes and in this fashion.
If there are some issues about your case that you consider worrisome, those matters
should be specifically discussed with your attorney before the start of the deposition.
SUGGESTIONS FOR PREPARATION
The following are suggestions to help you prepare to give you deposition. Please study
these suggestions carefully:
1. ALWAYS TELL THE TRUTH when giving your deposition. Failure to tell the truth
in a deposition constitutes perjury. You may assume that the attorney questioning you
has the ability to make anyone who is playing fast and loose with the truth very uncomfortable.
2. LISTEN TO THE QUESTION Don’t answer any question unless you hear it
completely. If you did not hear the question asked, ask the other attorney torepeat
it or ask the court reporter to read it back.
3. UNDERSTAND THE QUESTION BEFORE ANSWERING. Do not hesitate to ask
the other attorney to repeat or rephrase the question until you do understand it.
4. PAUSE AFTER EACH QUESTION. This gives you an opportunity to think and make
an appropriate response. It also permits me to formulate an objection to the
question if one is appropriate.
5. DO NOT GUESS at any answer. If you do not know the answer to a question, even
though you feel you would appear ignorant or evasive saying that you do not know,
you should nevertheless do so, because a guess or estimate is always wrong.
6. DO NOT VOLUNTEER INFORMATION. Answer the question that is asked of you
and then stop.
7. NO EXPLANATIONS. Never attempt to explain or justify your answer. You are there
to give the facts as you know them and you are not supposed nor should feel
obligated to apologize or attempt to justify those facts. Any attempt at such would
make it appear that you doubt the accuracy or authenticity of your own testimony.
8. BE VERBAL. Speak loudly enough so everyone can hear you. Do not nod or make
gestures; these cannot be recorded by the court reporter.
9. REMAIN CALM AND POLITE. Do not lose your temper no matter how hard you are
pressed. If you lose your temper, you may be playing into the other side's hands.
Do not argue with the other attorney. Give him the information in the same tone of
voice and manner that you do in answer to your own attorney's questions. The
lawyer has the right to ask questions, and your own attorney will object to any
inappropriate questions or actions by the other lawyer.
10. BE AWARE of questions involving distances and time. If at any time you estimate
distances or time in any of your answers, state that it is an estimate.
11. QUOTING OTHERS. If you are testifying with regard to conversations, make clear
whether you are paraphrasing comments made by you or other persons, or whether
you are quoting directly what was said.
12. NEVER SAY NEVER. Eliminate adjectives and superlatives such as "never" and
always from your vocabulary.
13. DO NOT TESTIFY about documents, or about what other people know, or about
your state of mind at a particular time unless you are specifically asked.
14 NOTES, DIARIES, ETC... Do not plan to use any notes, diaries or any other
documents to assist you during your deposition unless such document has been
specifically reviewed byyour attorney. Use of notes to refresh your memory or any other such
documents may be examined by the other side.
15. DOCUMENTS TO BE PRODUCED. You may have been instructed to produce
documents at your deposition. If so, you should bring three copies of the
documents. One copy will be provided to opposing counsel, one copy will be kept
by you, and one copy will be kept by your attorney. You should also bring the originals in the
event there is any question as to the accuracy of the copies.
Last edited by tony; 04-01-2012 at 08:09 AM.
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