This blog is about your first legal deposition. If you’re a newer attorney preparing for your first ever deposition, we want to say one thing first and foremost: Congratulations! This is a major step for many attorneys in their careers, one that often takes many years of education and hard work to achieve and should not be minimized.
At Phoenix Deposition Services, we’re proud to provide a number of tools to assist all attorneys with their deposition and court reporting needs, from video depositions and conferences to real time court reporting and many other solutions. Here are some general tips we can offer to attorneys preparing for their first legal deposition, from early-stage areas to consider understanding the detailed facts in your case.
Watch and Observe
In the days, months or even years before you qualify to handle your own deposition, we highly recommend following at least one – and more, if possible – deposition from start to finish, ideally one run by a mentor or another attorney you know well. If possible, ask them questions about everything from their preparation process to the format they use for interviewing subjects.
And if you can manage it, try to attend the actual deposition in person after you’ve spent time understanding the attorney’s preparation. This will help you note how certain elements of the process work, from basic objections to areas you may not have prepared for and how to handle these.
Know the Case
When it’s time to get to work on your own first deposition case, it’s absolutely vital that you have a complete, detailed understanding of everything in the file. The first major element we recommend here: Give yourself enough time to properly digest and understand all the materials involved, as rushing this can lead to you missing important details that might come up in the trial.
Another strategy many attorneys take during the prep process is the devil’s advocate approach. Try to think of things from the other side of the table, anticipating objections that might be raised or past legal precedents that might be relevant to the case.
Commit to a Strategy and Prep Intelligently
When you enter the room for your deposition on the big day, there should be no doubt in your mind about the strategy and approach you’re taking. You know the facts you want to bring forth during the deposition, and you know the purpose of the testimony and the witnesses who will be called. You’re prepared with responses to any potential objections or derivations from your desired strategy, and won’t let small road-bumps derail our overall theme and objective.