During a deposition, presenting a defense is as important as it is during a trial. Keep in mind that everything your client says will be recorded by the court reporter and will be part of the legal transcription of the proceeding. These tips will help you defend your client in San Jose before his or her deposition.
Preparation is Critical
The most important part of defending your client during a deposition happens before the questions even begin. Proper preparation is critical to an effective defense. Sometimes, because depositions happen outside of the courtroom, clients are even more likely to inadvertently volunteer information or become argumentative than they are during a trial when things feel more formal. It is also essential that you counsel your client to be truthful during the deposition. Again, because depositions happen outside of the courtroom, clients sometimes incorrectly believe that they are under less of an obligation to be truthful than they would be on the witness stand. Remind your client that the court reporter will be transcribing everything that he or she says, and any misinformation provided during deposition can come back to haunt him or her if the case goes to trial.
You’ll Need to Be an Advocate
Although your ability to file objections will be more limited than during a trial, your client will still need you to act as an advocate. Even if you don’t ultimately have to speak up during the deposition, you should be there to intervene on your client’s behalf if necessary. Your client may be hesitant to follow your preparation instructions if the other attorney is goading him or her, so be a present and vocal advocate for your client who is ready to object or call for breaks as needed.
Learn the Rules of the Deposition Jurisdiction
Each jurisdiction has its own rules for deposition, so be sure you have done your homework in advance so you understand how objections are handled and your obligations to continue with a case after a deposition. Reviewing these rules is especially important for a video deposition in which the case is being adjudicated in another location.