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How to Take a Great Deposition: Top 11 Tips

published November 24, 2016

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Summary: Every lawyer will need to know how to take depositions, and these 11 tips will help him or her take a great one.
 
How to Take a Great Deposition: Top 11 Tips

Here are some tips for conducting a great deposition.

1 No Head-Butting

Let a belligerent witness talk. Give him enough rope, and he’s going to hang himself. What a witness with an aggressive personality does not realize is that it is not his game. He’s playing your game.

2 Avoid Scripts

Too often young lawyers enter a deposition clutching typed lists of tightly worded questions. Preparation is essential, but by adhering too closely to a script, you risk not listening. Some of the best testimony will be something the witness says that’s not in response to the question you’ve asked. Plus, you’ll spend half your time scouring your geeky notebook when you should be looking at the person. Deposing a witness is a lot like picking up a member of the opposite sex in a bar. If you don’t look the person in the eye and you don’t listen, he or she isn’t going to go out with you. Trial work is a people business. It’s relating to people, understanding people, and, ultimately, persuading 12 people to see your point of view.

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