When we represent Alabama clients who have been injured or who have suffered through the wrongful death of a family member, one of the more stressful events for them that they think about at the beginning of the case is being deposed by the defense lawyers. This series of blog posts describes part of what we do to turn the stress from this event into positive energy that will make giving a deposition good practice for testifying live in front of a jury.
Before we start on the four keys, a little background information is appropriate. For those who have never given a deposition, it is where the other lawyers are allowed to question you under oath about virtually anything – as long as it is somewhat related to the case. This would include details about the truck wreck, the fraud, your doctor visits, your lost income, your pain and suffering, your permanent injury, your background, etc.
We will be there in the conference room when you are deposed and we can object if there is an improper question asked. If we do not object, you must answer the question truthfully. The rules we are suggesting in these blog posts will help you to truthfully answer the question that is asked.
We often suggest that our clients consider what you would do if you were taken down to the police station and told you were suspected of being a murderer. How would you answer questions (well, you would call a lawyer but just pretend you could not do that – you have to answer the questions in this little exercise) that were asked? Keep this in mind as we go through these four rules.
Finally, these blog posts are not a substitute for meeting and spending a lot of time with your lawyers – this is just to give you a taste of how to start getting prepared in general terms for your deposition. Of course, in your case, we would address specific details of your case that we can’t do in these posts.
So, what are the four keys?
First, make sure you hear the question that is asked. Each word and the entire question.
Second, make sure you understand the question – each word and the question as a whole.
Third, take whatever time you need to think about the truthful answer to the question.
Fourth, and for most of us the hardest one – answer only the question asked.
Each of the next four blog posts will take a look at these four rules or suggestions.
We hope and trust this series of blog posts is of some help to you – that is our desire.