Don't fall for deposition tricks.How should you handle a rude and difficult opposing attorney during your deposition of a defense witness? Here are some tips:
The "off the record" trick. Opposing counsel may want to go "off the record," claiming that tie or she has to clarify or "interpret" a question, then suggesting an answer to the deponent An individual who, under oath or affirmation, gives out-of-court testimony in a deposition. A deponent is someone who gives evidence or acts as a witness. The testimony of a deponent is written and carries the deponent's signature.
deponent n. . Insist that the court reporter record everything that takes place during the deposition. Nothing should be "off the record" unless all the attorneys agree. If there is an "off the record" conversation, make sure you place it on the record in the form of a summary or by asking the deponent what was said.
The "Can I talk to my client for a minute?" trick. A party to a lawsuit has a statutory right to a fair discovery process, including depositions. Hall v. Clifton Precision held that counsel cannot repeatedly interrupt appropriate questioning. (150 F.R.D. 525 (E.D. Pa. 1993).) Orner v. Mt. Sinai Hospital Sinai Hospital is a Baltimore, Maryland hospital originally founded in 1866 as the Hebrew Hospital and Asylum. It is now a Jewish-sponsored teaching hospital that provides care for all people. criticized defense counsel's disingenuous dis·in·gen·u·ous
1. Not straightforward or candid; insincere or calculating: "an ambitious, disingenuous, philistine, and hypocritical operator, who ... exemplified ... interruptions and repeated directions to a witness not to answer. (761 N.Y.S.2d 603 (App. Div. 2003).) The Hall court noted that under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30(c), which is similar to state rules, depositions are to be conducted under the same evidentiary ev·i·den·tia·ry
1. Of evidence; evidential.
2. For the presentation or determination of evidence: an evidentiary hearing.
Adj. 1. and testimonial rules used at trial. Attorney-client discussions are not allowed while the witness is on the stand, and they should not be permitted at deposition.
The "I object!" trick. This is one of the worst forms of abuse. Many times the opposing lawyer will not only object, but also give a speech that serves to coach the witness. Do not permit your opponent to do this. Terminate the deposition and arrange a telephone conference with the court and parties on the record, if possible. The court is not likely to tolerate a lawyer who continually objects without reason.
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