Tips & Tactics
When to Take Depositions
I love to take depositions!
Especially when the deponent (i.e., the witness being deposed) is the opposing party, whose crooked lawyer is trying to hide evidence I need to win my case!
You can make them fidget and squirm. You can make them sweat bullets. And, if you use depositions the Jurisdictionary way, you can make them spill the beans!
You can depose any witness who has or may have admissible evidence relative to your case. You can subpoena them for a deposition before trial, so you'll know what they are going to say before trial.
Here are 4 critical things to remember about depositions:
In today's Tips & Tactics Newsletter, I explain some things about the first point. You'll learn the other points and much more about depositions and evidence discovery in the Jurisdictionary step-by-step self-help for non-lawyers course. Order now!
#1 -- Get as many facts as you can before the deposition.
Even experienced lawyers mistakenly take depositions too early in the case. I've never understood why, unless they really don't care if they win or lose so long as they can charge their clients money for the time they spend uselessly spinning litigation wheels and throwing mud against the walls to see how much will stick! Perhaps they've never learned what Jurisdictionary teaches. After all, law school professors aren't lawyers. A law school education doesn't really tell you much about winning lawsuits the easy way. I think many lawyers just don't know any better. They all know that the longer they can drag out a lawsuit the more money they can take from their clients, so what difference does it make if they take a few depositions too early?
You will not make this mistake if you learn what Jurisdictionary teaches!
You usually get just one chance to question each witness under oath before trial. That's what depositions are for. You get only one chance to put a witness under oath and ask what the witness knows about the essential facts of the case. If you aren't prepared for the deposition and later decide you want to call the witness in for additional questioning before trial, you'll be very disappointed. The court will not allow it, unless you can show the witness lied at the first deposition or some equally extreme circumstance justifies your getting another bite at the apple. You had your chance.
You get just one chance to depose each witness.
It doesn't make sense to go to trial without first knowing what all the witnesses are going to say, yet lawyers do it all the time. You won't, if you learn what Jurisdictionary teaches.
It amazes me how the supposedly clever lawyers on Law & Order and other TV shows are surprised when their own witnesses tell a tale different from what they said when they were interrogated by the detectives or even the lawyers themselves, who apparently assume their witnesses would never lie! If they'd put these people under oath and ask their questions before trial, they would know what the witnesses are going to say. And, if the witnesses choose to change their tune at trial, the lawyers would have the ability to prosecute them for perjury.
Never assume a witness is going to stick to the story he tells when you question him informally before trial. You can never know what a witness will say when trial time rolls around, unless you depose the witness under oath to create a sworn written transcript you can use at trial to keep the witness straight!
Use your subpoena power and requests for production to get the documents and other things you need to prove the essential fact elements you need to win your case. Use interrogatories and requests for admissions so you have even more of the essential facts at hand. Then, and only then, are you ready to schedule your depositions.
That way, when the court reporter swears the witness in at the deposition, you can ask the deponent questions about things you wouldn't have known about if you'd scheduled the deposition earlier in the case ... like stupid lawyers do.
The one exception is when you have a witness who is on death's door or otherwise about to leave the court's jurisdiction. For those witnesses, of course, you'll want to take their depositions early. But, again, if a few days' delay will give you more facts to question them about, put off taking the deposition as long as possible.
Since most opponents hedge their responses to discovery tools, trying to "hide the ball" with "smoke and mirrors" tactics, it just makes sense to delay taking depositions until you have as much as possible of your discovery completed. That way you'll have the factual ammunition you need to blow the liars out of the water and win your lawsuit, instead of being victimized by the typical lawyer-orchestrated tricks of the trade that too often pervert justice in our courts!
There's much more Jurisdictionary will teach you about depositions and lawsuits ... case-winning power you can gain in a single weekend.
Get the Jurisdictionary course to learn all4 critical things you need to know about depositions:
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