While we wish it were not the case, not all attorneys in various depositions or hearings will conduct themselves with the expected class and decorum. There are even some opposing attorneys who will be outright uncooperative, from intentionally poor behavior to obstruction of certain rules or regulations.
At Phoenix Deposition Services, we’re here to offer numerous Phoenix court reporting, video deposition and related services that allow for proper records and documentation of any court hearing. In addition to ensuring you have quality transcription services in place to capture any unruly behavior from another attorney in a given deposition, what are some of the other tips we can offer on managing an uncooperative opposing counsel? Here’s a primer.
What is Opposing Counsel’s Motivation?
First and foremost, no matter what the opposing counsel is doing to frustrate you, calmly search for their likely motivations. Perhaps their client has instructed them to take a frustrating approach to the deposition for a specific reason, or your opponent could be a new attorney who may not know the rules or regulations of the deposition process.
While there is no one-size-fits-all strategy for handling an opposing counsel with poor behavior, if you approach it from a place of understanding what might have motivated their actions, you’re likely to react less emotionally and more effectively.
Review Past Rulings
The legal world has had a number of uncooperative attorneys within it over the years, and there have even been cases that litigate this precise manner, such as Security National Bank of Sioux City v. Abbott Laboratories. This was a case that involved numerous violations of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure by the defense attorney, involving repeated and excessive objections, witness coaching and frequent interruptions.
This attorney was sanctioned for his actions, and the same thing is possible in your case.
Handling Issues Quickly
In many cases, opposing counsel will make frequent interruptions or baseless objections based on seemingly minor issues. Their actual goal in many of these cases is to seek to control the discovery process, delaying the process to make it tougher for you.
For this reason, getting on top of this behavior quickly is important. It should be noted to the judge in the case if this entity has not already noticed it — if needed, utilize transcripts or video deposition records to prove the behavior you’re alleging in the opposing counsel. The judge in your case will take any such allegations and handle them appropriately, including reviewing transcripts if needed.
For more on how to handle a deposition involving an uncooperative opposing counsel, or to learn about any of our Phoenix court reporters or their services, speak to the staff at Phoenix Deposition Services today.