Preparing for a Deposition – Part II: The Players

Meeting your lawyer for the first time

Don’t miss Part 1, which covers your rights when scheduling and traveling a deposition.

A good deposition can bolster and enhance the value of your claim. A poor deposition can significantly damage your case. It is for these reasons that proper preparation for your deposition is critical.

Your attorney should meet with you prior to your deposition to prepare for it. This is not a quick conference that lasts 10 minutes. It is an in-depth analysis of the deposition process, the types of questions that will be asked and the documents/evidence that will be shown to you. While some attorneys meet with their clients the morning of their deposition (usually right before it happens) our firm meets with clients several days in advance. We do this for a couple of reasons:

1) to ensure that no scheduling conflicts have arisen and to confirm that the client will attend on the take/time, and at the location, specified, and

2) to provide adequate time in a relaxed setting to sufficiently prepare a client for their deposition.

Your attorney should first review with you how the deposition process works. They will explain how you will be in a conference room with the opposing partys attorney. They may have another attorney or paralegal assisting them. Only one attorney for each party (if there are multiple parties) should be permitted to ask you questions. You will sit across from the opposing partys attorney and next to your own attorney, who will also accompany you to the deposition. An interpreter will sit on your side of the table as well if you require interpretative services.

A court reporter or stenographer will sit at the end of the conference room table. They will be taking down everything that is said in the room on a stenotype machine (a sort of mini-typewriter). You will need to bring a valid photo identification which the stenographer will use to confirm your identity. You should also bring reading glasses if you need them. Wear comfortable, business casual clothes and bring a sweater if you are prone to feeling cold.

You should not bring any documents, photographs or other evidence with you to the deposition. The opposing counsel will have everything they intend to utilize during their questioning of you. If you locate documents or other evidence at the last minute that you did not provide to your attorney, you need to let your attorney know as soon as possible. They will need to review the documents or other evidence prior to your deposition and, working with opposing counsel, determine whether your deposition needs to be postponed (if the documentation or other evidence is voluminous and will require time to review) or if opposing counsel can proceed anyway.

Our next post will continue looking at the deposition process.

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