There are several different types of discovery tools that attorneys can use to gather evidence for their case. A deposition is extremely important, and can have an effect on your case in many ways. Therefore, it is imperative that you be prepared.
A deposition allows an attorney to question the other party or a witness under oath. It is typically held at the office of the attorney who called the deposition. A court reporter transcribes all of the questions and answers given.
There are several reasons that attorneys take depositions: (1) to gather evidence; (2) to gauge how the witness will present on the witness stand at trial; (3) to “lock in” someone’s testimony and prevent it from changing later; and (4) to preserve the testimony (for example, if a witness is sick or elerly and may not be available at trial).
There are four “Cardinal Rules” when it comes to preparing for depositions.
1. Anxiety and nervousness are normal.
The only people who have fun during a deposition are the attorneys (and sometimes even the attorneys are miserable). It is completely normal for you to experience some anxiety leading up and during the deposition. Tricks like taking deep breaths, smiling, and reminding yourself of your preparation, are some helpful tips.
2. Remain calm at all times.
The other attorney will likely ask questions that make you upset or angry. Often, attorneys do this to gauge your “sore spots” and whether you are likely to erupt angrily in court. It is important that you control your frustration and answer all questions politely and honestly. If you feel yourself getting agitated, you can ask to take a break.
3. Remember that the other attorney is not your friend.
The other attorney will likely be very polite, and may ask questions about your interests, your background, or your children, in an effort to build rapport with you. This can be an attempt to “lull” you into trusting her and giving away more information than the attorney has asked for in a question. You should remain guarded at all times. Always answer the questions completely and honestly, but remember that the other attorney is fishing for information that is helpful to your soon-to-be ex.
4. “I do not know” is an acceptable answer.
The one piece of advice I find myself reminding my clients of over and over again is that “I don’t know” or “I don’t remember” are acceptable answers. Many people, in an effort to be as truthful as possible, try to give an answer instead of saying, “I don’t know.” However, ou should never guess during your deposition.
You should prepare for your deposition with an experienced attorney. Katelyn has taken or defended more than 15 depositions. Call her today to prepare for yours.