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Boxer & Gerson attorneys Gary Roth and Eric Ritigstein recently authored an article in Plaintiff magazine entitled “Preparing Your Client to Give a Deposition That Helps Your Case.” The three-page article emphasized the critical importance of fully preparing clients for a deposition they will likely face from the defense attorney in their case.
As familiar as the setting may be to the plaintiff’s attorneys, Roth and Ritigstein remind them what a foreign and intimidating experience it likely will be for their deposed client, and how important a thorough preview and preparation of the process will be for the deposition to positively impact the case.
Common pitfalls include:
Ultimately, Roth and Ritigstein suggest that honesty, consistency, and answering the question and nothing more than the question best serves the client’s own interests. In this age of easy and inexpensive surveillance, it would be imprudent to answer what appear to be random questions from the defense (“Are you able to climb a 17-foot ladder?”) definitively. Such questions tend to be carefully planned with the hope of catching the client denying any such ability, even though the defense may have caught just such a random moment on a surveillance tape. Speculating on such an activity or anything else is never advisable. Clients who hold fast to that realization tend to help their own cases to a very significant degree.