You’ve been a little uneasy since you received the notice that your deposition has been scheduled. You called your attorney to notify him of the subpoena, and he’s meeting with you to help you prepare for the various questions you will be asked during the deposition. However, you can’t help but be anxious that even with all the “prep work,” you’ll get stage fright on the day of the deposition. How can you be prepared to answer questions if the opposing attorney can ask you anything he wants?
Key Things to Remember As You Prepare for a Deposition in D.C.
- Focus on the facts. Your attorney will ask you questions that are relevant to the case, such as dates, figures, and circumstances surrounding your claim. He may also organize the facts of your case in a way that makes it easy for the judge and jury to follow. You should try your best to memorize exact figures so that you can be 100 percent sure of your answer on deposition day; this will make it easier to avoid phrases like “I think” or “it’s roughly this amount,” which can make you seem unreliable to the court.
- Plan for a long day. Depositions can last anywhere from a few minutes to several hours, and there is no way to predict how long you may be deposed. Wear comfortable but professional attire, and pack a snack in case you get hungry. Shifting in your seat or becoming irritable when your blood sugar gets low can affect your answers.
- Don’t be a robot. While you should memorize facts, you should not attempt to memorize exact phrases in answers to questions, for a few reasons. First, the opposing attorney may not ask a question in the same way as your attorney, and your prepared answer could be misconstrued. Second, you are likely to become flustered if the attorney asks a question you didn’t anticipate. Third, fully-scripted answers will often sound rehearsed, risking your credibility with the jury.
- Listen to your attorney. You should rely on your lawyer’s counsel during the deposition. If he advises you not to answer a question, do not answer it. If you have been asked a question that you don’t want to answer, ask to speak to your attorney for options.
If you are uncertain about going to the opposing attorney’s office to give your deposition, we offer a neutral location for all of our customers to record video depositions, centrally located in Old Town, Alexandria. Visit our video depositions page to find out how we may be of service.