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Deposition Instructions

When attending a deposition, the following information will be helpful in allowing you to focus on the issues and to have the deposition performed as efficiently as possible:

  • Pay particular attention to the questions that are asked by the examiner. Make sure that you understand the questions before you attempt to answer them. Think about the questions before answering to make sure that you understand the question and have properly formulated an answer in your own mind.
  • Never guess or speculate about the answer. There is nothing wrong with saying "I don't know." If you don't know, just say so.
  • Make sure that the answer given is your answer and not what the examiner wants you to say. If you feel you have not had time to fully answer the question, or if you feel the question is unfair, ask the examiner or your attorney for a chance to explain. We are interested in your knowledge, not the examiner's.
  • If the examiner is harassing you or not allowing you a chance to answer, don't get into an argument with him. Wait for your attorney to make an objection for the record or to tell the examiner he has over-stepped his bounds.
  • Always tell the truth. Never attempt to lie to protect, enhance, or aid your case. A lie can only hurt the verdict. Assume that the examiner has done his homework. If you lie, he will know it and you will be caught. You also will swear under oath to tell the truth. Do not take that oath lightly. You have a duty to yourself, and to the judicial system, to tell the truth. If you tell the truth, no matter what the examiner does, you will do fine.
  • Make sure that you speak loudly enough so that the examiner, your attorney, and the stenographer can all hear you. If you want to answer "yes" or "no," do so out loud. If you merely nod your head or shrug, your response will not appear on the record being maintained of these proceedings.
  • Always be polite and courteous to everyone attending the deposition.
  • Don't deny having talked to anyone about the case if you have done so. However, your conversations with your attorney, his assistants, and paralegals are privileged. If you are questioned about one of these conversations, wait for any appropriate objections to be made by your attorney.
  • Do not look at your lawyer for help in answering a question. The answers must come from you.
  • Your case is a serious matter, so do not take it lightly. Avoid jokes, wisecracks, puns, or any kind of flip remark.
  • Recognize the solemnity and importance of the occasion by dressing appropriately. Dress as you would for trial. A neat, clean appearance will go a long way toward making a good impression on all participants.
  • Avoid any smoking, gum chewing, or nervous reactions such as finger tapping.
  • Always remember to be honest, humble, and truthful. If you remember those three things, and if you relax and testify confidently, your chances for a favorable settlement or eventual verdict in your favor will be enhanced.

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