You're preparing for a deposition. You have a stack of documents you may or may not use. Have you read them? If you're like many lawyers, you've merely done a cursory once-over. You're saving the real reading for . . . well, another time.
In "Better Discovery Through Document Management," lawyer Lisa Wood describes a process for reading your stack of possible exhibits before a deposition--
You should immediately note a number of things and consider basic questions such as the following:
- Who prepared the document?
- Who received carbon copies, when was the document dated, when was it faxed or delivered by some other means?
- Who apparently typed the document?
- Is there any handwriting on the document?
- Do you have a complete copy of the document?
- Does the document refer to any other documents, whether as enclosures, attachments, or other forms?
- What prompted the preparation of the document?
- Where does the document fit into the chronology of key events?
- What is important about the document and its contents?
- Is the document consistent with your understanding of the facts?
That's a pretty comprehensive list, and there's much more in Wood's article. Read it to see if you're taking the right approach to documents at depositions.