Getting your client ready for deposition? Proactive defense strategies are essential. Following these simple tips will allow for an efficient and effective deposition-preparation session with your client, and, more importantly, a successful deposition.
A successful defense of a deposition begins weeks before your client is ever sworn in by the court reporter. First, evaluate your client as a witness. Determine his or her strengths and weaknesses and prepare appropriately.
Second, think about what opposing counsel hopes to gain during the deposition. Make two lists: a list of the key points that your adversary needs to make and a list of the hardest questions that your client will face. Review these questions with your client until he or she is comfortable – and, importantly, you are comfortable.
Third, regardless of the client’s sophistication level or personality type, it is helpful to identify potential “anchors” for your client. Anchors can be anything that will help your client refocus during the deposition and respond to difficult questions effectively.
Fourth, evaluate what evidence you need from your client to prove or defend your case. Defending a deposition and providing deposition testimony is not merely a reactive exercise.
Finally, evaluate the scheduling of the preparation session. Identify the best time to meet with your client, as well as how long you anticipate the meeting will last. Often, depositions are an inconvenience to clients.
An effective deposition-preparation session requires planning. Take advantage of this opportunity by preparing yourself and your client so that the deposition is successful.
For more strategy and planning tips, please check out my article published in the most recent edition of the ABA’s Pretrial Practice & Discovery Newsletter.
February 15, 2013