Ten Tips for Taking More Effective Depositions
Pretrial depositions are a core, yet time-consuming part of any litigation. In a complex lawsuit, each party may take upwards of 10-25 depositions, and the process may last for months – even years. Despite the time and effort, depositions can often produce some of the most important evidence.
However, there is often a mentality among lawyers that pretrial depositions are only minimally useful. Experienced attorneys may spend an entire deposition just walking through documents with a witness or asking off-the-cuff questions, without strategizing about how the deposition could assist in the overall success of the lawsuit. Meanwhile, younger attorneys are often assigned to take a deposition with little or no training, and rarely have a good plan in place for what they should try to get out of the process. The deposition will often end without the deposing attorney obtaining a single bit of useful testimony.
With preparation and planning an effective deposition can be one of the most powerful tools in the lawsuit. A good deposing attorney can draw out inconsistencies in a witness’s testimony, get useful sound bites for trial, and even get “smoking gun” admissions. Armed with this information, a party can often file a dispositive motion on the basis of the damaging testimony, force a settlement, or at the very least lock a witness into damaging testimony at trial. Below, therefore, are 10 tips that any litigator can use to take a more effective expert witness deposition.
To read the full article, click here: http://www.iptoday.com/issues/2013/03/ten-tips-for-taking-more-effective-depositions.asp.
Christopher Scharff is a Shareholder at McAndrews, Held & Malloy, Ltd. in Chicago, IL. His practice includes patent, trademark, antitrust and unfair competition litigation, as well as counseling clients on patent and trademark matters for mergers and acquisitions. firstname.lastname@example.org
Originally published in Intellectual Property Today.