In this series of posts, I'll dig into the archives of The Trial Practice Tips Weblog and highlight some of my prior posts about depositions. Although you can see all of these post in this weblog's deposition category, I thought I'd try to reorganize some of them in a new way.
I'll begin with the first five ways a lawyer can ruin a deposition. I've been guilty of all of them at one time or another--
2. Failing to investigate the witness online. Just a few minutes of Internet research can turn up lots of things about a witness you didn't know before. Here's a post about that: "Deposition Tip: In Preparing for a Witness, Always Check the Web."
3. Trying to wing it. Maybe you're so good that your only preparation is getting to the deposition on time. Sound foolish? It is. See this post: "The Dangers of Winging It in Depositions."
4. Neglecting the preliminary questions. Those cookie-cutter questions lawyers ask at the beginning of a deposition have a purpose. Don't skip the "you know you're under oath"-type questions, but don't turn them into a speech either. Here are two posts that make these points: "Those Preliminary Deposition Questions: What's Their Purpose?" and "Those Preliminary Deposition Questions: Don't Make a Speech."
5. Assuming the witness is telling you the truth. As human beings, we're conditioned to believe what people say. I feel like I am, at least. That's why I'm constantly making this mistake, even though I wrote this post: "Practice Tip: "Assume Your Deposition Witness Is Lying."