Depositions are the most common of all legal proceedings. They are very important because testimony given during depositions can do much more than provide useful information. Deposition testimony can expose new holes in cases, lead to settlement or be used to impeach witnesses at trial.
Here are tips that can get optimal results from your depositions.
Preparation is key to success, including depositions. Details to consider include:
- Date, time and location
- Court Reporter
- Legal Videographer
- Supporting Documents
Having a checklist of tasks to complete before each deposition will ensure you never miss a step. Here is a Deposition Prep Checklist to get you started.
Which deposition method is right for your case? Options include Video Conferencing and Realtime Reporting.
It makes sense to outline and plan your questions. Here is a list of essential deposition questions, as well as questions you may not have thought of. You will need a list of specific questions for expert witnesses.
Prepare your Client
Without sufficient preparation, clients may become even more anxious when they encounter several attorneys, paralegals, court reporters, videographers, bright lights and video cameras at depositions. Instead of putting your clients in this uncomfortable position, let them know what to expect during the deposition. Explain what the deposition is, why it is necessary, and its importance. Here’s more on preparing clients for deposition.
Working with your Court Reporter
Besides transcribing proceedings, court reporters also swear in witnesses and mark exhibits. For the best experience with the court reporter, follow these guidelines:upsupu
Estimated Schedule – Provide the court reporting service with an estimated deposition schedule. Estimating the length of the proceedings allows the agency to assign a court reporter whose availability matches your schedule.
Information on the Deposition – This information is used by the court reporting agency to assign a court reporter with experience on the type of case at hand. Provide your court reporter with specific information about the case including names of companies, terminology and proper names of witnesses and experts.
During the Deposition
- Speak clearly, one at a time
- Announce off the record conversations
- Check in with your court reporter during breaks; there may be questions
Working with Exhibits
Court reporters and attorneys can ensure a clean, uncomplicated record if best practices are followed when dealing with exhibits. Quick tips include:
- Number or letter exhibits consecutively
- Allow the Court Reporter to Mark Each Exhibit
- Identify Each Exhibit Properly for the Record
- Do Not Take Exhibits With You When Leaving
Follow Up with your Court Reporter
When the deposition is over, check with the court reporter about her firm’s procedure for getting the transcript to you. Most firms offer quick turnaround and can deliver transcripts in various formats including printed, video, synchronized video transcript, exhibit hyperlinking and electronic transcripts. Many firms, such as Diamond Reporting, offer repositories like the Diamond Vault to store all of your transcripts in one secure location.
Contact us or schedule your deposition today. With over 35 years of experiencing handing the court reporting needs of attorneys in the New York and New Jersey areas, Diamond Reporting can provide the expert court reporting service you are seeking. We are there when you need us, where you need us.