Pro’s & Con’s of Taking the Oral Deposition
This article is about the pro’s & con’s of taking an oral deposition. When deciding whether or not to take an oral deposition, take some time and careful consideration to the benefits and possible takeaways from doing so. When making this choice, keep your main focus on the goals of the deposition, choose the best methods in achieving those goals, and try to anticipate anything that could stand in the way of those goals.
Here are some of the Pro’s of taking an oral deposition
Locking in testimony- Depositions are generally the best practice for locking the testimony of unwilling or unfriendly witnesses and opposing parties.
Spontaneous responses- You may derive more complete and spontaneous answers to questions than with interrogatories because the witness is far less likely to have rehearsed testimony with opposing counsel. This is also helpful when witnesses are being evasive or dodging questions because you can immediately narrow your line of questioning resulting in more precise answers.
Promotes potential settlement- If one of your goals is to settle the case, carefully choose your line of questioning and support them with solid documents. If you are deposing someone with settlement authority, showing the strength of your case could weaken the opposing side’s confidence in going to trial.
Here are some Con’s of taking the oral deposition
Reveals some information to the other side- You lose some advantage to the other side by no longer being able to surprise them with your line of questioning on the stand at trial. They will be more prepared on their defense and could anticipate some of your probable areas of examination.
Educating witnesses- Witnesses who make a poor showing at the deposition have now got the opportunity to refine their ability to be a better witness at trial.
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