Justin Bieber had his deposition taken on March 6, 2014. A portion of the videotaped deposition was forwarded to me for comment. This deposition video can be very helpful to anyone preparing for their own deposition, but not for reasons you may think. I would not want my clients to model themselves after JB. No, I would instead ask them to watch it to learn WHAT NOT TO DO. In other words, he made so many mistakes that he would clearly flunk my deposition rules known as the 8 Simple Rules and 1 Simple Question. [Search our website for those rules.] If you read my rules and then watch JB you should be able to recognize all the mistakes he has made. Here are a few from JB's deposition.

  1. Was Extremely Argumentative (This is a film? This is a film?)
  2. Childish Attitude Displayed Throughout the Deposition (Put his head back, closed his eyes, shook his head from side to side while sighing as if his time were much too important for this man’s claim.)
  3. Offered Information Rather Than Just Answering the Question
  4. Allowed the Opposition to get into his head (Selina Gomez colloquy)
  5. Didn’t listen to his own lawyer (Talked over his lawyer’s objection)
  6. Dressed Inappropriately (Should have had a shirt and tie on. Left sleeve pushed up to display tattoos creating an unnecessary distraction.)
  7. Tried Acting Like He Was in Control (Objected)
  8. Laughed Inappropriately 3:13
  9. Smiled Inappropriately (Guess what? I don’t recall.)
  10. Made Inappropriate Comments (Katie Kuric, This isn’t journalism?)
  11. Made Inappropriate Gestures (Wagging his Finger, Winking at the Camera, Facial Expressions in General)
  12. Acted Like He is Above the Law or this Legal Proceeding (Attitude displays disdain for the process)
  13. Belittled the Legal Process (Said he had no recollection of ever being in Australia)
  14. Played to the Camera As If The Deposition Were Promotional (Winking at the Camera)
  15. Failed to Answer Yes or No Whenever He Could (Disciplined… What kind of question is that? Smiling.)
  16. Failed to Simply State, “Could you clarify your question?” (What kind of question is that it doesn’t make sense? It is a weird question.)
  17. Failed to pause between questions making it very difficult for the court reporter and appearing less than dignified to anyone who would watch it.
  18. Didn’t Let His Lawyer Control the Deposition (I object. Don’t ask me that again, while wagging his finger.)
  19. Allowing Him to Be Used By Allowing His Emotions to Control the Tempo and His Appearance
  20. Failing to Follow My Deposition Rules

While I have no way of knowing why he did so poorly, he did not appear to be mentally prepared for his deposition and it may have to do with his immaturity, popularity and wealth getting in the way of his lawyers being effective for him. He certainly had the right to disagree with this man’s claim but he is fighting with the process rather than the facts of the case. In the end we see a young man disconnected from the reality of the legal process. He seems either unaware of the way he is being portrayed in the media or simply doesn't care. In the end he is put himself in a difficult position and how this is likely to play out in a court of law.

In the end he is likely to appear out of control in his own life while trying unsuccessfully to appear fully in control of the courts. Unfortunately he is making his lawyer’s’ job much harder than it has to be while exposing himself to more and more risk. Get a clue Justin, this is not the Disney Channel. And maybe this lawsuit is insignificant, but what about if in the future there is a much more serious claim? What then and what could you have learned from this case that would help you in future claims. 

Link to Justin Bieber's deposition.


Steve Lombardi
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Iowa personal injury, workers' compensation, motorcycle, quadriplegic, paraplegic, brain injury, death
Hi Steve, I appreciate your outline of real world deposition lessons learned from Justin Bieber's deposition. I have posted an article to my Real Estate Litigation Blog about the use of the video-within-the-video technique employed by Plaintiff's counsel and how that played out. The link is here: http://bit.ly/1eWiOFb John
by John Cowherd March 20, 2014 at 06:23 PM
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