11 Rules for Deposition Preparation
CAP Index is an integral component of the risk management strategy of many leading companies and has successfully helped defend security decisions and practices made by its clients. We offer our experience to clients who require an expert witness, litigation support, or forensic services, and our data and processes have been admitted in hundreds of cases in both state and federal courts.
Having worked on over 700 premises security liability cases, Jon Groussman, J.D., CAP’s president and COO, knows that depositions are stressful and challenging. However, you can provide confident testimony that showcases your competence and credibility using his 11 deposition preparation tips.
1. Be a superb listener.
- Listen carefully to each question.
- Think before answering.
- Listen to any and all objections.
- Never accept a fact merely because plaintiff says it is so.
- Always remember the jury is listening carefully, too.
- Never argue.
- Take a break if you feel yourself getting upset.
- Be polite but firm.
Never guess or volunteer information.
- Speculating is death.
- Don’t offer additional information beyond what’s being asked about.
- Don’t volunteer names of others who may have information.
4. Review documents thoroughly before answering.
- If you haven’t seen it before, offer no comment.
- Know your company’s policies and procedures.
- Ensure documents correspond to the relevant time period.
- Read the fine print.
Know what the case is about and what your defenses are.
- Understand the complaint and which defenses are appropriate for that complaint.
- Know what your discovery responses already say.
Never waive privilege.
- This pertains to privileged incident reports and investigation details.
- This pertains to privileged communications as well.
Never admit to legal conclusions.
- Never admit that you/your company acted negligently.
- Never admit that you/your company acted recklessly.
Never discuss money unless asked and you know the answers.
- Do not discuss any increased costs associated with security measures.
- Do not discuss any increased costs associated with compensation.
9. Immediately correct your answer if necessary.
10. Insist that your lawyer get together with you seven to ten days before the deposition and, if necessary, undergo a mock deposition.
11. Be comfortable and confident.
- You know more about the subject than the lawyer asking you the questions!
Having to give a deposition can be stressful and unnerving. However, the more prepared you are, the better a witness you will be. Even if you can’t recall every one of these rules during the deposition, remember to maintain a calm, confident and competent demeanor.
Want to learn more about protecting your assets and reputation in a litigious society? Click here for more information and tips.