Wrapping up this series of posts (see parts one and two), it's time for the final five ways that a lawyer can ruin a deposition. Since I've personally made all of these mistakes myself, I feel I'm well qualified to distribute this generalized warning to a wider audience --
- "A Podcast on Advanced Deposition Techniques," (discussing how to control a witness)
12. Neglecting the documents. Some lawyers bring documents to a deposition, intending to ask the witness about them, but do it only halfway. Instead, try digging in. Try this list of questions: "Depositions: Questions to Ask About Documents."
13. Taking too long. Most depositions go on much longer than is necessary. Learn how to shorten them with the tips described in this post: "Can You Make Your Depositions Shorter?"
14. Failing to learn from your mistakes. If you keep a running journal of your mistakes, it's less likely you'll make the same one twice. See this post: "A Deposition Tip for Young Lawyers: Learn from Your Mistakes."
15. Failing to incorporate your completed deposition into your overall trial plan. After a deposition has ended, do you add the transcript to a giant stack of depositions sitting on your floor? There are a number of other more sensible post-deposition steps you can take. You'll find seven of them here: "Trial-Planning Steps to Take After a Deposition Has Ended."
And that's it: the fifteen ways that you can ruin your a deposition. But that's not going to happen to you, now is it?