5 Tips to Help You Prepare for Your Deposition
“I’ve been asked to appear at a deposition. What do I do?” If this is a question you want answered, or if you have heard your lawyer use the term and are wondering what to possibly prepare for, the experienced personal injury attorneys at Biesterveld & Crook, LLC have a few tips that could help.
First, what is a deposition? A deposition is a process that requires an individual to present sworn testimony before a certified court reporter. Your attorney should help you prepare for this stage of your case by meeting with you ahead of time or conducting a mock deposition, but you can take a few steps to prepare on your own as well.
Tip 1 – Make a Good Impression
Depositions are similar to trials, as you must go before counsel from both sides of the case and a court reporter is present to make an official record. This means you should treat it like any other court proceeding. Dressing nicely, speaking respectfully to others, and trying to avoid getting angry at the attorneys asking questions are some good starting points in making a favorable impression.
Tip 2 – Be Honest and Don’t Guess
During a deposition, many people feel compelled to try and guess what point the attorney is trying to make with the question that is asked. Assuming what the attorney is trying to prove leads to formulating answers that you think they want to hear, and it can even sometimes lead to dishonesty. It’s best to answer each question directly and honestly. Don’t try to skew the details. Honesty is the best policy.
Tip 3 – Speak Clearly
“Uh huh” and “yup” might be common responses in every day conversation, but they are not ideal for a deposition, or any other type of court proceeding. You should use clear answers, such as “yes” and “no” in order to create a clear record. You will also need to verbalize all of your answers and not answer with a nod or a head shake. This will also help the court reporter in typing an accurate record.
Tip 4 – Review Exhibits
It is common for lawyers to present exhibits during depositions. You may need to identify certain documents or pictures and answer questions about them. Even if you have seen them before, it’s okay to take the time to review them before answering questions about them. This can help to refresh your memory about each specific exhibit and provide clearer answers.
Tip 5 – It’s Okay to Need a Break
If a question is asked that makes you uncomfortable or the constant asking of questions becomes overwhelming, it is perfectly okay to ask for a break. It can sometimes calm your nerves to step away for a minute, grab some water, and re-group with your attorney.
As previously mentioned, your attorney should also help you to prepare for the deposition. Biesterveld & Crook, LLC makes every effort to ensure our clients are comfortable and confident when walking into a deposition.
If you or someone you know has been injured due to another’s negligence, contact the personal injury attorneys of Biesterveld & Crook, LLC. Whether it’s a car accident or a slip and fall, we are ready to examine your case for free and fight to recover the damages you are owed. Give us a call to schedule your free consultation today!