On April 11, Jim Dedman, in a post at NC Law Blog, described how iPads might be used to do away with paper exhibits at depositions. He concluded, "Someday, though, someday, we’ll be able to arrive at the deposition with just our laptop or tablet . . . But, alas, that day has not yet arrived."
Just two days later, Jeff Richardson at iPhone J.D. brought news of this very development:
I took a deposition yesterday in which the witness had produced thousands of pages of documents. In the past, that would have meant lugging tons lots of boxes and binders to the deposition. Instead, I just put everything on my iPad. I used Apple's Numbers app to read some Excel files. The PDF files went in to my Dropbox account, and while it took over an hour to sync almost 2 GB of data to GoodReader, everything worked great once it was there. Searching for a term in a 2900 page PDF file was slower in GoodReader than it would have been with a laptop computer, but it was fast enough for what I needed during the deposition. It worked great, and reminded me (once again) of why the iPad is such a great litigation tool.
Read both posts in full for more good ideas about the use of iPads at depositions.
The new revision contains a number of new practice tips, a section listing practice tips by type and category, a long appendix featuring real-life deposition transcripts for study, and much more.
Here's a testimonial about the book from Ross Mann, an attorney whom I don't know, yet who was kind enough to email me last month about my book--
Your deposition book was INSTRUMENTAL in my first deposition. I proceeded to take my first adverse dep without ever having seen a dep in my life--and I had full confidence because I thoroughly studied your book. Thanks so much for the work!
You can view and print a detailed brochure about Deposition Checklists and Strategiesat this link (pdf).
Once upon a time, I anguished over every answer to every pointless question. No more. A judge or a jury looks at a case from a 30,000 foot perspective. It is not about the trees; it is about the forest. It is not about the minutiae; it is about the broad narrative. So, take a breather.
A nice sentiment! See the full post for the pointless questions, about which Maslanka confesses, "I have sinned as to each."
In conjunction with a project I'm doing about preparing plaintiffs for deposition, I pointed out that in many types of cases, it's possible to predict with great accuracy what your client will be asked.
This is because in common types of personal injury cases, e.g., many mass torts, defense lawyers often follow a common outline in deposing plaintiffs that can be reverse-engineered simply by lifting the questions or topics from previous depositions.
Often, such deposition outlines are easy to find--and are certainly a great help in preparing a client for a deposition.
Below the fold: A reverse-engineered deposition outline from the long-concluded fen-phen litigation.
[I]n the process of our drill seargant/paranoid recitation of all these "rules," we can inadvertantly turn our clients into robots at their deposition. We've wrung all the humor and charm right out of them. They come off flat, worried, walking on eggshells for fear of making one of those dreaded "mistakes" we warned them about over and over. And, occasionally, we have the audacity to wonder why our clients' pre- deposition charm and endearing qualities did not come through at their deposition.
For more, plus the complete pancake comparison, read the full post.
This article, which first appeared in The Maryland Bar Journal, describes twelve nefarious ploys that lawyers often use to gain an unfair advantage at depositions.
Examples: Intentionally trying to anger the witness in an attempt to get him to forget his pre-deposition preparation, asking convoluted questions loaded with unstated and damaging assumptions, and acting bored as a way of distracting the questioning lawyer.
After describing each trick, the author proposes an "antidote" for dealing with the situation.