All posts by Mark Miller

divorce deposition

What to Expect During a Divorce Deposition

What to Expect During a Divorce Deposition

This article is about what to expect during a divorce deposition and the role court reporters play in that. There are many different kinds of legal cases that may require depositions for a few reasons, and one of the more frequent types seen is for divorce cases. Divorces can be stressful and occasionally messy legal affairs, and when there’s significant enough disagreement, depositions may be involved in the process.

At Phoenix Deposition Services, our court reporters and video depositions are available for a wide variety of case types, including divorce proceedings. These are often done involving witnesses who were compelled to appear rather than those who did so voluntarily and may include questions in a few important areas. Here are some of these areas to understand.

Income and Asset Division

Financial areas are often at the center of many divorces, and the deposition process is often used to help uncover certain areas that may be tougher to get at otherwise. You have to be prepared for potentially detailed questions here, including those that are relatively intrusive and get into specific areas of your finances.

It’s important to note that while it may be tempting to withhold certain information during this part of the deposition, doing so is both illegal and extremely risky. Attorneys are able to ask questions about any part of your finances, including any publicly available documents, and you will be under oath during this questioning. Lying or omitting information is a direct contradiction of the law and should be avoided no matter what.

Child Care and Custody

Another common debate point during divorces is the care and custody of any children involved, and this area will take high priority during several elements of divorce cases, including depositions. Custody won’t be determined solely during these hearings, of course, but they present a significant opportunity for both sides to present their case in terms of care and resources for the child.

During this section of a deposition, prepare for personal questions. They will refer to care areas for the child, scheduling concerns for each parent, financial capabilities within the childcare realm and several others. Being willing to admit to areas where compromise is necessary can actually go a long way in these situations, provided both parties can be reasonable.

Health and Personal Habits

Finally, depositions may uncover certain other pieces of information that wouldn’t come to light otherwise during a divorce. Personal habits and traits might come up, such as parents who abuse drugs or alcohol or have been unfaithful within the marriage. Past criminal records may come up in these depositions, and once again, you should take great care not to lie or omit information, even if you think it will benefit you at the moment – the negative outcomes far outweigh the positive ones.

For more on what to expect during a divorce deposition, or to learn about any of our video court reporting or other services, speak to the staff at Phoenix Deposition Services today.

litigation

Litigation Tips for A Successful Deposition

Litigation Tips for a Successful Deposition

This blog is to inform our audience about litigation tips for a successful deposition. At Phoenix Deposition Services we provide many services to aid in the deposition process and to litigation itself. These services are often vital to a given deposition, allowing for expedient tracking of records, statements and streamlining the preparation process for litigators on every side of a case.

Over the years providing these services, we’ve seen just about every possible situation or behavior from litigators – and we know the kinds of things that work and don’t work in this situation. Here are a few basic tips we can offer in litigation to avoid mistakes and ensure a smooth, effective deposition that accomplishes the desired goals.

Avoid Stipulations on Record

You may have the ability to put stipulations onto the record at the start of the deposition, but we generally recommend against this. This will allow the opposition to reserve their objections and may lead to some trickle-down issues later on in the case. It’s advantageous to you if your opposition makes their objections during the actual deposition itself, allowing you to counter them immediately rather than waiting for trial.

Witnesses and Competence

In certain high-stakes cases, you may have witnesses looking to evade your questions. One of their primary methods for doing so will be to dodge claims of competence – they may say they don’t remember a given event, for instance, or don’t understand what you’re asking them.

If you sense this kind of difficulty could be at hand, it’s best to lead the witness to admit their own competence at a separate angle. The best litigators try to accomplish this before they ask sensitive questions about the case so that once those questions come up, witnesses cannot then back out and say they were not competent.

The Litigation “Witching Hour”

Within the deposition world, this is a term used to describe when the patience of a given witness begins to wear down. Many opposing witnesses have been coached or have prepared responses, but you can wear away at this and steer toward the truth if you work at it. Tactics here will vary depending on the subject matter and the witness’s personality.

Awkward Silence

A great tool at your disposal in any deposition? Simply being silent. Many people become very uncomfortable in prolonged silences, and witnesses often ramble or say things they wouldn’t otherwise when they’re uncomfortable.

Non-Speaking Objections

If your opposing counsel in a deposition is highly argumentative and will not stop objecting, you may want to consider requesting a non-speaking objection. If approved, this will force the opposing counsel to make their objections in a way that will not direct your witness toward answering in a way that benefits them, a common tactic used to evade the truth.

For more on how to avoid any mistakes during a deposition, or for information on any of our court reporter or video conferencing services, speak to the pros at Phoenix Deposition Services today.

making depositions convenient reporters

Making Depositions Convenient for Reporters

This blog is about making depositions easier for court reporters. For several parties involved, from attorneys to judges and others, the certified court reporter provides numerous benefits. Depositions simply wouldn’t be as valuable or meaningful as they are without a great transcript and record-keeping from the court reporter, making their services essential.

At Phoenix Deposition Services, we’re also here to tell you about the other side of this coin: How clients, attorneys and others involved in the deposition process can take small little steps to assure the real time court reporter’s job is done correctly. We’re here for your convenience, of course, but this street goes both ways and the right approach here will ensure perfect record-keeping and transcripts from your deposition. Here are some important areas to go over with your attorney ahead of time.

Introductory Information

If at all possible, time should be taken ahead of the deposition to give the court reporter a basic list of names, terminology or other important words that might be used. This allows them to add this to their dictionary and note it before any possible errors take place. In turn, this will lead to a more error-free transcript and will also improve turnaround time if you require documents quickly after a deposition.

Regular Breaks

In a given deposition can benefit from breaks every now and then, particularly if the deposition is a long one, and the court reporter is no exception. This gives them a chance to rest and stretch, plus benefits you with a brief break from what can be stressful proceedings. Once again, this kind of approach will lead to a more accurate transcript.

Clear Expectations

Every deposition is different and has different goals, and for this reason, it’s vital for you and your attorney to communicate any special expectations before proceedings get underway. This includes things like making a request for a real time reporter in advance – these require special certifications. Other similar requests might include expedited services, immediate rough transcripts or video reporting services, all of which are easily handled so long as there’s adequate warning and preparation time.

Speaking Habits

Finally, while your attorney likely has experience with the deposition process, you should be made aware of a few speaking habits if you’ve never been in one before. Try not to talk too quickly or mumble, and never cover your mouth or obscure your voice in any way. Reporters are trained never to ask you to slow down, so doing this will ensure they can stay accurate.

In addition, while we know depositions are a place where arguments can take place, the interests of all involved should be on preserving a good record. For this reason, try to avoid interrupting or talking over others wherever possible, even in heated moments, to allow for better transcription of what is said.

For more on how you can help make things a little easier for your court reporter, or to learn about any of our certified court reporting services, speak to the pros at Phoenix Deposition Services today.