Even the most seasoned litigators must prepare extensively before a deposition. Thorough preparation is only one way to facilitate a successful deposition, however. You will need to arrange for deposition services from a court reporter serving San Jose. You might even consider requesting a video deposition, which may facilitate your trial preparation and allow you to learn from your mistakes for better depositions in the future.
Manage the Deposition Space
Although it may seem relatively unimportant, taking charge of the deposition environment is the precursor to taking charge of the deposition itself. Arriving at the location well ahead of schedule will allow you to claim your space. If the deposition space features a conference table, ask the court reporter to sit on one end of the table or adjacent to your seat. Your witness should sit directly opposite you.
Build Bridges with the Other Professionals
Arriving early also allows you to chitchat with the court stenographer. Networking with other professionals who have an insider’s view of the goings-on in your area may benefit you later down the road. When you find a reliable court reporter, it’s also a good idea to build a long-term relationship with him or her to reduce the possibility of transcription problems at future depositions. It may even be beneficial for you to make small talk with the opposing counsel. Establishing closer professional ties now may lead to easier settlement negotiations later.
Follow the Witness’ Lead
When the deposition begins, you will likely follow your outline closely. However, many lawyers make the mistake of failing to actively listen to the witness and refusing to veer away from their outlines. Listen carefully to your witness’ responses and don’t hesitate to ask follow-up questions. You may be the one asking questions, but your witness is the person who should dictate the direction of the deposition.
Assess Your Performance
Arranging for a video deposition is always a smart idea. Like professional athletes, lawyers can benefit from reviewing their performances afterward. Take notes while you watch the deposition. Write down strategies that worked well and those that failed.