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Preparing for Depositions

by | Oct 15, 2023 | Firm News |

In business litigation cases, the depositions of the principal witnesses are very important. It is not enough to simply instruct your client to tell the truth. Telling the truth is required, of course, but this instruction does not replace preparation. A well prepared client is one who has spent time reviewing the important documents that are likely to be discussed at the deposition. It also important to review the relevant pleadings and other documents that frame the legal claims and defenses in the case. Context is important, and a litigant giving a deposition should understand how the questioning at a deposition pertains to the legal issues in the case. The deposition transcript may be used at trial, but it is equally likely to be used prior to that time in a motion for summary judgment or motion in limine. Having a prepared client who is able to testify to the factual bases supporting your claims and contentions may be essential to overcoming a summary judgment motion. It is also helpful to demonstrate to your adversary that your client will be a good witness at trial. Some clients are better than others at preparing for trial. I like to start early by assigning “homework” and following up with the client to make sure that the process is being taken seriously. By starting early, I have a chance to put a client back on track if preparation is lacking.

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