New Jersey Litigation Attorney & Deposition Lawyer
What To Do And Not Do At Your Deposition
Depositions can be a stressful and anxious time. You may not be sure exactly how to respond to questions. Remember that answering questions at a deposition is not like answering questions on a school exam; you don’t need to know the answers to the questions posed and should never provide an answer to a question when you are not absolutely sure of the answer. A deponent should never seek to advocate a position, but should seek to limit his or her testimony to those facts within the deponent’s personal knowledge. There is no right or wrong answer, only the truth. Below is a list of “dos” and “don’ts” with respect to depositions.
- Tell the truth.
- Answer questions by simply stating the facts to the best of your recollection.
- Listen closely to the question, pause/think and then answer only the question posed.
- Qualify your testimony:
- I don’t recall “at this time”
- I don’t know “at this time”
- “I’m not certain, but . . . . .”
- Feel you need to know the answer to every question.
- Feel you need to give a particular answer.
- Argue the case.
- Let yourself get angry, confused, or tired,
- Instead say: “I’d like to take a recess.”
- Volunteer information.
- Go beyond the scope of the question.
- Hesitate to ask the questioner to rephrase a question that you don’t understand.
- This includes words that may have different interpretations
- This also includes words or phrases that are more complicated than it needs to be.