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Evidence Legal Topics Litigation Strategy Pretrial Matters

Warn Your Expert Against Writing

Although in the “real world” scientists changing their minds may be the badge of intellectual honesty, in litigation the expert who backs away from a position or changes an opinion is supplying the opposition with a source of impeachment. Any time the expert makes a written record of his or her thoughts or opinions, the opposition gets a “paper trail” of potential impeachment material. To avoid this, tell your expert to keep writing to a minimum.

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Civil Litigation Discovery Legal Topics New Lawyers

Who May Attend a Deposition?

thinkstockphotos-155804580Generally, depositions are a fairly intimate gathering with only the necessary attendees. But what do you do if you’re surprised by an unwelcome person who insists on being present?

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Civil Litigation Discovery Legal Topics

4 Tips for Handling Exhibits at Deposition

463413901When it comes to deposition exhibits, you need to keep your eye on the trial: Make sure they are marked, identified, and attached to the deposition transcript. Here are four tips for handling depo exhibits. 

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Civil Litigation Discovery Legal Topics Litigation Strategy Trial Strategy

4 Tips for Finding the Right Interpreter

thinkstockphotos-498555620When a witness can’t understand or communicate in English, you need to get an interpreter. Evid C §752(a). It’s not as simple as just finding someone who speaks the same language as your witness. But getting the right interpreter is much easier if you follow these four tips.

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Civil Litigation Discovery Legal Topics

Handling Nonverbal Depo Responses

fingersUnless the deposition is video or audio recorded, the record won’t reflect nonverbal responses. This can be a problem if the nonverbal response is material. Here’s how it comes up and how you can deal with it.

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Civil Litigation Discovery Evidence Legal Topics Litigation Strategy Trial Strategy

10 Steps to Impeaching a Witness with Prior Depo Testimony

steps_78288477A witness’s deposition can be used for impeachment (i.e., to attack the witness’s credibility) by showing that the testimony on the stand isn’t consistent with the deposition testimony or “for any other purpose permitted by the Evidence Code.” CCP §2025.620(a). The quoted language permits the deposition to be used to show both prior inconsistent statements (Evid C §1235) and prior consistent statements (Evid C §1236).  Next time you have depo testimony that will impeach a witness, follow these 10 steps.

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Civil Litigation Discovery Legal Topics

Lessons from Trump’s Depo: Come Prepared!

In his 2007 deposition in his suit against a reporter, Donald Trump encountered very prepared attorneys. As the Washington Post describes, they “confronted the mogul with his past statements—and with his company’s internal documents, which often showed those statements had been incorrect or invented.” Regardless of your politics or personal feelings, Trump’s deposition presents an excellent example of how to effectively cross-examine an adverse witness in a deposition.

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Civil Litigation Discovery Legal Topics

Dealing with a Deponent’s Sudden Memory Loss

ThinkstockPhotos-162286894Witnesses at deposition are prone to suffer from severe memory loss. Luckily, there are some effective restoratives you can use.

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Civil Litigation Discovery Legal Topics

Stipulations for the End of a Depo

ThinkstockPhotos-179049810There are certain stipulations entered into at the end of the deposition that can be very useful. Check out these stipulation suggestions, along with sample language to get them on the record.

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Checklists Civil Litigation Discovery Legal Topics New Lawyers

Getting Your Client Ready for Deposition

ThinkstockPhotos-460416523For most clients, being questioned in a deposition is a new and frightening experience. The more you can do to prepare your client, the better he or she will feel and perform. When it comes to instructing your client on how to respond to questions in a deposition, use this handy checklist to be sure you don’t miss anything—some of this may seem obvious to you, but probably not to your client.