When, Why, What, and How …
Slay your opponent with depositions!
Happy Deposition – But!
Like other tools in your “Lawyer’s Little Red Toolbox”, depositions are best used:
- At the right time,
- For the right reason,
- In the right way!
A deposition is not a friendly coffee-klatch!
It’s not a “social event”.
Beware of sneaky lawyers, who try to turn the serious fact-finding business of deposition into a friendly “conversation”.
Do not allow it.
When you see it begin, stop it immediately!
Lawyers will try to lead deposition witnesses into a false sense of safety by seeming “friendly”, asking questions about Aunt Suzy’s recipe for butterscotch cookies or where Uncle Bill spent his vacation last year. This is not to get at facts but to trick the witness into “chatting”, to get you and the witness off-guard so improper questions can be “popped” in while you day-dream about how many quarters you put in the parking meter outside.
“I understand you’re quite a golfer, Mr. Witness.“
Don’t be duped.
Your opponent’s lawyer doesn’t care a thing about the witness’ golfing.
He’s on a fishing expedition.
He’s after something else.
# # #
An American attorney had just finished a guest lecture at a law school in Italy, when an Italian lawyer approached him and asked, “Is it true that a person can fall down on a sidewalk in your county and then sue the Landowners for lots of money?” Told that it was true, the lawyer turned to his partner and started speaking rapidly in Italian. When they stopped, the American attorney asked if they wanted to go to America to practice law.
“No, no,” one replied, “We want to go to America and fall down on Sidewalks!”
A very rich lawyer is approached by the United Way. The man from the United Way is concerned that the lawyer made over $1,000,000.00 last year but didn’t donate even a cent to a charity.
“First of all” says the lawyer, “my mother is sick and dying in the hospital and it’s not covered by health care.
Second, I had five kids through three divorced marriages.
Third, my sister’s husband suddenly died and she has no one to support her four children…”
“I’m terribly sorry” says the United Way man, “I feel bad about asking for money.”
The Lawyer responds, “Yeah, well if I’m not giving them any money, why should I give you any?!”
A guy phones a law office and says: “I want to speak to my lawyer.” The receptionist replies, “I’m sorry but he died last week.” The next day he phones again and asks the same question. The receptionist replies, “I told you yesterday, he died last week.” The next day the guy calls again and asks to speak to his lawyer. By this time, the receptionist is getting a little annoyed and says, “I keep telling you, your lawyer died last week. Why do you keep calling?” The guy says, “Because I just love hearing it!”
A man goes to his lawyer and says, “I would like to make a will but I don’t know exactly how to go about it.” The lawyer says, “Don’t worry, leave it all to me.” The man looks somewhat upset, “Well, I knew you were going to take the biggest slice – but I’d like to leave a little to my children too!”