Thursday, April 13, 2023

What Not to Do at Your Deposition

Hi all, Happy Thursday! Welcome to our second week of “What not to do.” This week I want to dive into the world of depositions for some quick tips on what you should not be doing at your deposition.

First, a refresher on what a deposition is. A deposition is, “a sworn, out-of-court testimony given by a witness in a civil lawsuit. At a deposition hearing, lawyers will direct a series of questions toward the witness. The witness will respond to each of the questions, and the responses will be transcribed into writing.”

So, what shouldn’t you do at a deposition?

Do not lie. As the definition above explains, you are under oath when giving a deposition. You must tell the truth. Depositions can be used in court proceedings and not only will lying harm your case, but it could also have other consequences for you. Be truthful, even if it may make you look bad.

Do not forget to ask for breaks. Depositions can take a long time and you are absolutely allowed to ask for a break. Whether you need to eat, use the restroom, or just go outside for fresh air, you are more than allowed to do so. This will help the deposition run smoothly and avoid extra stress on what is already likely a very long day.

Do not forget to review any necessary documents. If your attorney gives you documents to look at before a deposition, actually look at them. They would not just give you documents for no reason, and this way if you have any confusion about documents that may come up, you can ask your attorney to explain or clarify before the actual deposition starts.

Do not guess or speculate. You are not getting graded or being given points for every question that you answer. It is always best to say “I don’t know,” or, “I cannot answer that” instead of guessing on a response because you think that is what the attorney wants to hear. I don’t know will not get you in trouble, but lying most definitely will. Finally, remember that silence is okay! Once you answer the question, do not feel you need to explain to fill the silence.

I hope you all have found these tips on what not to do at your deposition helpful. It is okay to be confused and stressed during these times but remember you can always ask your attorney for advice or clarity and make sure to listen to what they have to say. They really do have your best interests at heart and want to see your case succeed. By avoiding the above tips, you are better helping yourself to have the most successful deposition you can.


*The thoughts and information in this blog do not constitute legal advice of any form. Please contact our office with any legal questions or concerns

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