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How do I prepare the morning of the deposition?


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11/3/2015
Steve Lombardi
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This week I am covering deposition preparation and I was going to repost the 8 Simple Rules and One Simple Question, (and your answer). This is a week of back to the basics, because like in sports having a solid foundation is the first step towards winning your case. Let us list the ten rules for what you should be doing to prepare for the morning of the deposition.  There are a few things to do the night before and the morning of the deposition. Starting off on the right foot you need to be awake and ready to go when the sun comes up and well before the starting gun goes off.

THE TEN RULES FOR HOW TO BE READY THE MORNING OF THE DEPOSITION

1. Start early.

2. Lay your clothes out the night before so you know you’re ready to hit the ground running.

3. Eat a small to medium sized breakfast.

4. Leave the house early and with enough time to arrive at least thirty minutes early.

5. Ask to see the room where your deposition will take place. This gives you a mental note so you are familiar with your surroundings. If it helps choose your chair so you know where you will be seated.

6. Bring a sweater or light jacket that buttons or zips all the way down in the front just in case you’re cold. No pullovers so you don’t mess up your hair.

7. Drink water, but in moderate amounts.

8. Meet with the lawyer before the deposition to review his/her rules. I have more to say about this but not for today.

9. Use the rest room before the deposition begins, look in the mirror, smile and remind yourself you are ready and dressed for success.

10. Relax because it’s not the end of the world, if not everything goes your way.

So there you have it; ten simple rules to follow. If you follow these rules you should be as ready to go as you can be. Now let us discuss why one more important issue. I want you to understand about your attorney and the job they are supposed to be doing in getting you prepared to be deposed.

 

I meet with my clients and we discuss how depositions should be structured, what telling the truth means, we discuss the 8 Simple Rules and I “administer” the 1 Simple Answer. We go into the facts of the case and I explain the law of both liability and damages. Many attorneys do this but many don’t. I’ve heard some tell their clients to just tell the truth. Those attorneys meet with the client ten minutes or less before the other attorney arrives and while the court reporter is setting up says, “It’s really simple, just tell the truth.” That couldn’t be further from the truth of how lawyers are supposed to prepare you for a deposition. That’s not preparation; it is the exact opposite. Now I don’t care what side of the case you are on; either plaintiff or defense, there is a right way and a wrong way to assist clients in being prepared. And a ten minute chat just before the deposition begins is not the right way. 

 

Yes, I agree you have to tell the truth, but getting to the truth is a lot harder when you’re worried about how depositions work, what is this person doing here typing every time I speak and why is the opposing lawyer talking in a tone that suggests I’m lying? All of that is what should be covered days or weeks before the deposition takes place.

 

So here is my advice to you today. If you’re scheduled to be deposed and the lawyer or the staff haven’t called to schedule a deposition then call the lawyer’s secretary and schedule a time for deposition preparation.  If the lawyer refuses fire them and hire another. That’s it for today enjoy the rest of your week, unless of course you’re scheduled to be deposed. Then you better be reading your answers to interrogatories, reviewing the Petition/Complaint and Answer along with the medical records and accident report.

 

Once again here are today's rules for deposition preparation.

 

THE TEN RULES FOR HOW TO BE READY THE MORNING OF THE DEPOSITION

1. Start early.

2. Lay your clothes out the night before so you know you’re ready to hit the ground running.

3. Eat a small to medium sized breakfast and don't overdue the coffee, try decaf.

4. Leave the house early enough to arrive at least thirty minutes early.

5. Ask to see the room where your deposition will take place.

6. Bring a sweater that buttons or zips all the way down in the front just in case you’re cold. No pullovers so you don’t mess up your hair.

7. Drink water but in moderate amounts.

8. Meet with the lawyer before the deposition to review his/her rules.

9. Use the rest room before the deposition begins, look in the mirror, smile and remind yourself you’re ready and dressed for success.

10. Relax it’s not the end of the world.

 



Category: Trial Deposition Preparation


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