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Remember: this is YOUR deposition, not opposing counsel's
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Remember that this is your deposition, so take the time you need. Do not let more experienced attorneys bully you into dropping important lines of questioning. If you encounter comments such as "How is that relevant to this case?" consider the possibility that your questions are on target. Among the interfering comments that opposing counsel make, my favorite is "How long will this take? I have an appointment this afternoon that I don't want to miss." A professional response, such as "You had better make a phone call and tell them you'll be late," is appropriate. If you need to take a minute to gather your thoughts, let opposing counsel sit and grumble. This is your chance to get the information you need to serve your client.

A calm mind produces a better transcript. Do not lose your cool with either the deponent or opposing counsel, unless your mood change is strategic. If you are encountering an obstreperous witness, first try reason. You might offer a nonconfrontational comment such as, "I would also rather be at the beach than taking a deposition." If this is unsuccessful, you might try, "That was an interesting response, but to an entirely different question. The question I was asking was." Always try to coax your witness into the testimony you need before becoming forceful.

Trust your instincts. You have prepared a plan for the deposition and a checklist of questions. You can relax and concentrate on the present. If you are about to move to the next topic when you get a hunch to follow an offhand comment that the witness has made, you can do so. If you are wrong, you waste only a question or two, and before long you are following your checklist again. If you are right, you may uncover unexpectedly helpful testimony for your client.

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