Tag Archives: scheduling a deposition

Avoid Bad Q&A

Depositions : Avoiding bad Q&A

This blog is about recognizing and avoiding bad questions and answers during a deposition or trial. Assisting your client in refreshing their memory regarding facts pertinent to the case is important but that’s just the start of what is in store for the preparation of your witness for upcoming deposition or trial.  You also need to prepare your client for problem areas of questioning.  In this blog we have listed some problem questions and how to react and answer them properly during the course of a deposition of your client:

Compound Questions

Compound questions, which incorporate two questions in one, such as, “Do you smoke marijuana every day or just once a week,”,  the first question in this statement is “Do you smoke marijuana”,  and if yes, is it every day or just once a week , this form of  questioning is very deceptive and dangerous because a yes- or-no answer can be interpreted as an affirmative response to the underlying predicate.

Questions in Absolute Terms

Whenever an attorney uses such terms as, “Do you always” or, “Have you never,” they are attempting to lock your client into absolute terms. There is nothing wrong with being absolutely sure, you just want to make sure that that is in fact the case.

Exaggerations

There is nothing that more quickly undermines a claim or gives rise to the all-popular defense mantra of “secondary gain” than needless exaggeration.

Opinions

Stay factual!  Do not guess and do not speculate.  You do not have to have an answer to every question, and that is okay.  You are only human.

“Would It Be Fair to Say…”

Anytime a witness hears a question prefaced with such a line, they should make sure they in fact agree with the proposition set forth in the question, as this is often unfair to the witness.

For more information on this topic we recommend reading The five worst things to do during cross-examination.

Looking for the very best in Phoenix court reporters ? Call us today at 602-230-2499.

 

 

The Paralegal’s Guide to Scheduling Depositions

As a paralegal, your job is critical to the success of the law firm or organization that you serve. Indeed, paralegals are tasked with a vast array of legal duties, among them is participating in depositions. While the primary depositional duties are taking notes and observing the plaintiff’s behavior, paralegals may also be asked to schedule depositions. However, due to the amount of detail and the number of steps involved, doing so can be intimidating.

As a paralegal, your job is critical to the success of the law firm or organization that you serve. Indeed, paralegals are tasked with a vast array of legal duties, among them is participating in depositions. While the primary depositional duties are taking notes and observing the plaintiff’s behavior, paralegals may also be asked to schedule depositions. However, due to the amount of detail and the number of steps involved, doing so can be intimidating.

Having worked for many years in the court reporter profession, I wanted to provide a helpful overview for paralegals seeking to schedule their first deposition. If you follow the steps provided below, you should find it to be a manageable process, despite its complexity.

Scheduling a Deposition – How to Document the Scheduling Attorney

If you are looking to schedule a deposition but are not the scheduling attorney, you must be prepared to provide details on the scheduling attorney, including contact information. The typical contact information required is:

  • Name of the scheduling attorney
  • The name of the firm
  • Physical address of the firm
  • Best phone number
  • Fax number
  • Email address

It’s vitally important that you include this information in the deposition request because the court reporting firm needs to be able to reach the attorney in order to share any news or information that they might receive.

The Notice of Deposition and Case Detail Documentation

Upon contacting the court reporting firm to schedule the deposition, typically you’ll be asked for the case caption, which contains pertinent information, such as the name of the witness, docket number and case name. This information is also included in the notice of deposition, so you should keep it handy. If you do not have the notice of deposition prepared at the time of scheduling, it is critical to send it as soon as you have it ready.

There are several options for the method of delivery, however, email tends to be the most preferred, as it offers several unique advantages. First, the court reporters will immediately receive your notice of deposition, and typically they will confirm that they have received your emailed notice. Alternatively, you may choose to schedule your deposition online, through the court reporter’s website. In this case you simply enter the relevant information, and the court reporting firm will contact you to confirm that they have received your notice.

Scheduling the Proceedings

When scheduling the proceedings, you must provide the following information:

  • The name of the deponent
  • The chosen location for the proceedings
  • The time and date that the proceedings will begin
  • Whether there is a requirement to schedule a conference room

Estimated Duration of Proceedings

Most firms will request that you disclose the estimated length of time required for the proceedings. This will help the court reporting firm in scheduling any other depositions, as court reporting firms typically handle many depositions in any given day. If you believe that your deposition may take up the entire day, it is important to notify the court reporting firm, so that they can provide you with a reporter who is available for the number of hours required.

Other Items to Gather

A case description is highly useful to the court reporting firm. If the deposition is going to deal with medical or technical language or other professional jargon, your court reporting firm may choose to send a reporter with more experience in the language spoken by professionals in those fields.

You should consider whether you will need special services from the court reporting firm, such as a videographer, a real-time reporter, streaming video, conference room reservation, an expedited transcription, a speakerphone, online deposition, or an electronic transcript. If any of these services are pertinent to your deposition, make sure you let your court reporting firm know beforehand.

In closing, scheduling a deposition can be an intricate process, especially for new paralegals. Nonetheless, it’s a task that becomes more manageable with time. The key to developing proficiency in depositions is repetition and the sort of foreknowing, that only comes from ‘hands on’ experience.