The 10 Common Mistakes People Make at a Deposition

Depositions are formal discovery in a lawsuit. It’s the opposing counsel’s opportunity to hear what the witness has to say. Discovery procedures were developed and refined in the 1980’s with the idea cases would likely settle if the parties just exchanged information. We do a lot of preparation of our clients before a deposition. What we have on our site is a fraction of what you require in your own case. Your attorney does need to meet and prepare you. Preparation can take anywhere from 20” to several hours. It’s important to put the facts of your case into the proper context. If your lawyer won’t take the time to prepare you then we can be hired by the hour to do the preparation work. In some instances we agree to do the preparation work for a percentage of the contingent fee. In other cases we act as co-counsel in your case. The point is if your lawyers not doing the preparation work you need to take charge and demand he do it or hire someone to do it properly. Call us if we you want us involved in your case.

  1. Fail to prepare by reviewing the right documents before the deposition begins.
  2. Dress inappropriately.
  3. During the deposition, fail to listen to the question.
  4. Offer information - many people keep talking after the question is answered.
  5. Try playing “the lawyer”.
  6. Don’t answer with a “yes” or a “no” when that’s all the answer needed.
  7. Fail to smile and to relax.
  8. Let the facial expressions of the opposing attorney dictate your mood.
  9. Allow the tone of the lawyer’s questions to get you in a bad mood.
  10. Argue a point as if winning this point is important in any way.

Just work on not doing these ten things and your deposition will go a lot easier. Good luck and if we can help you give us a call. 515-222-1110 or [email protected] We work as co-counsel with attorney's of record. 


Steve Lombardi
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Iowa personal injury, workers' compensation, motorcycle, quadriplegic, paraplegic, brain injury, death
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