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The Effective Deposition: Techniques and Strategies That Work

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The Effective Deposition will prepare you to successfully take, defend, and use the deposition to its greatest advantage. Advocates and law students have long relied on The Effective Deposition to get essential know-how for the most critical step in discovery.

In this updated Fourth Edition, David Malone, Peter Hoffman and contributing author, Anthony J. Bocchino, again apply their expertise as attorneys and educators to bring you critical information and insight. They explain new discovery rules in evidence and civil procedure, and they discuss the impact of continuing technological developments, including e-discovery and digital transcription, on your practice.

New to this edition is a chapter dedicated to Rule 30(b)(6) organization depositions--the most powerful and efficient discovery tool available in complex litigation. This edition also provides new and expanded material on using depositions in motion practice and trial and taking and using preservation depositions.

Depositions remain a critical element of your practice, regardless of whether you face trial or alternative dispute resolution. With the increasing trend toward non-trial resolutions, depositions are being used more and more in motions, negotiated settlements, mediations, arbitrations, and dismissals. Be prepared for it all with The Effective Deposition.

Authors / Contributors

Table of Contents

CONTENTS

Dedication

Foreword

Acknowledgments

PART ONE:  THE LAW

CHAPTER ONE:  THE MECHANICS OF TAKING AND DEFENDING DEPOSITIONS

1.1  Whose Deposition May Be Taken?
1.2  Rule 30(B)(6) Depositions
1.3  Timing
1.4  Priority
1.5  Scheduling of the Deposition
1.6  Giving Notice of the Deposition
1.7  Geographic Location of the Deposition
1.8  Number of Depositions
1.9  Length of Depositions
1.10  Compelling the Witness's Attendance
1.11  Requiring Documents to Be Brought to the Deposition
1.12  Scope of Discovery during the Deposition
1.13  The Deposition Itself

PART TWO:  TAKING DEPOSITIONS

CHAPTER TWO:  PURPOSES OF TAKING DEPOSITIONS

2.1  Gathering Information
2.2  Preserving Testimony
2.3  Facilitating Settlement
2.4  Objectives and Questioning Techniques

CHAPTER THREE:  ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF DEPOSITIONS
3.1  Advantages
3.2  Disadvantages

CHAPTER FOUR:  PLANNING AND SCHEDULING DEPOSITIONS
4.1  The Discovery Plan
4.2  Coordinating Depositions with Other Discovery
4.3  Coordinating Depositions
4.4  Scheduling the Deposition
4.5  Duration and Intervals

CHAPTER FIVE:  PREPARING TO TAKE THE DEPOSITION
5.1  The Questioner's Frame of Mind
5.2  Creating the Deposition Outline
5.3  Researching the Law
5.4  Identifying All Available Facts
5.5  Constructing Your Working Theories
5.6  Identifying the Opponent's Factual and Legal Theories
5.7  Generating Questions
5.8  Organizing the Deposition Outline
5.9  Using the Outline at the Deposition
5.10  Checklist for Preparing for the Deposition
5.11  A Final Word About Preparation

CHAPTER SIX:  BEGINNING THE DEPOSITION
6.1  Stipulations
6.2  Set-Up and Commitments
6.3  Speculating or Guessing

CHAPTER SEVEN:  STYLE, ORGANIZATION, AND OTHER MATTERS
7.1  Style
7.2  Organization: Background of the Witness
7.3  "The Organized Tour" versus "The 'Leapfrog' Approach"
7.4  Handling Objections and Instructions Not to Answer
7.5  The Witching Hour of 4:00 p.m.

CHAPTER EIGHT: QUESTIONING TECHNIQUES
8.1  Introduction
8.2  Information-Gathering Questioning
8.3  The Funnel Approach
8.4  Gathering Party Statements and Testing Theories

CHAPTER NINE:  USING DOCUMENTS
9.1  Uses for Documents in Depositions
9.2  Using the Documents to Prepare
9.3  Compelling Production of Documents to Be Used at Depositions
9.4  Marking and Handling Documents at the Deposition
9.5  Questioning on Documents
9.6  Inquiring about Documents Used to Refresh the Witness's Memory
9.7  Requesting Documents Identified during the Deposition
9.8  Refreshing Recollection

CHAPTER TEN:  FOUNDATIONS
10.1  Foundations for Real or Tangible Evidence or Documents—Rule 901(b)(1)
10.2  Substantive Visual Evidence—Photographs, Maps, and Diagrams
10.3  Oral Evidence—In General
10.4  Laying Foundations Efficiently
10.5  Negative Foundations

CHAPTER ELEVEN:  OBNOXIOUS OR OBSTRUCTIONIST OPPOSING COUNSEL
11.1  Irritating or Obstructing Behavior
11.2  The Irritating Opposing Counsel
11.3  The Obstructing Opposing Counsel
11.4  The Blocking Opposing Counsel: The Special Problem of Instructions Not to Answer
11.5  Obstructing Behavior That Isn't Obstructing Behavior

CHAPTER TWELVE:  PROTECTIVE ORDERS AND APPLICATIONS TO THE COURT
12.1  Protective Orders
12.2  Applications to the Court

PART THREE:  DEFENDING DEPOSITIONS

CHAPTER THIRTEEN:  PREPARING THE WITNESS TO BE DEPOSED

13.1  Preparing the Witness on Substance
13.2  Preparing the Witness for the Deposition Process
13.3  Final Instructions
13.4  Practicing Your Theme with the Witness
13.5  Conclusion

CHAPTER FOURTEEN:  DEFENDING THE DEPOSITION
14.1  Advance Preparation
14.2  Determining Whether the Witness Is a Client
14.3  Preparing the Witness to Testify
14.4  Supporting and Protecting the Witness
14.5  Entering Into Stipulations
14.6  Preserving the Record
14.7  Conferring with the Witness
14.8  Taking Breaks
14.9  Stating Objections
14.10  The Form of Objections
14.11  The Calculus of Deciding whether to Object
14.12  Instructions Not to Answer
14.13  Questioning and Clarifying and Correcting Answers
14.14  Concluding the Deposition

CHAPTER FIFTEEN:  REVIEWING, CORRECTING, EDITING, AND SUPPLEMENTING THE TRANSCRIPT
15.1  Reviewing, Correcting, and Editing
15.2  Supplementing the Deposition

PART FOUR:  USING DEPOSITIONS

CHAPTER SIXTEEN:  USING DEPOSITIONS IN MOTIONS AND TRIAL

16.1  Motions for Summary Judgment
16.2  Preparing for Trial
16.3  Using the Deposition Testimony at Trial
16.4  Seven Ways to Use a Deposition at Trial
16.5  The Designation Process and Obtaining Rulings on Objections
16.6  Presenting Deposition Testimony at Trial

PART FIVE:  SPECIAL TYPES OF DEPOSITIONS

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN:  TAKING AND USING PRESERVATION DEPOSITIONS

17.1  Preparing to Take the Preservation Deposition
17.2  Taking the Preservation Deposition
17.3  Defending the Preservation Deposition

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN:  VIDEO DEPOSITIONS
18.1  When to Take a Video Deposition
18.2  Advantages of Video Depositions
18.3  Disadvantages of Video Depositions
18.4  The Law
18.5  Scheduling the Video Deposition
18.6  Preparing to Take the Video Deposition
18.7  Conducting the Video Deposition
18.8  Preparing to Use the Video Deposition at Trial
18.9  Using the Video Deposition at Trial
18.10  Defending a Video Deposition

CHAPTER NINETEEN:  RULE 30(b)(6) DEPOSITIONS
19.1  Rule 30(b)(6)
19.2  Deciding to take a Rule 30(b)(6) Deposition
19.3  The Specifications
19.4  Finding, Preparing, and Defending the Rule 30(b)(6) Designee
19.5  How to Ask Questions
19.6  Questioning on Topics within the Specifications
19.7  Questioning on Topics beyond the Specifications
19.8  The Number and Identity of Designees
19.9  How Do Nonparties Respond?

CHAPTER TWENTY:  EXPERT DEPOSITIONS
20.1  Preparing to Depose the Expert
20.2  Deposing the Expert: Strategies
20.3  Deposing and Defending the Expert: Tactics

CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE:  CONCLUDING THE DEPOSITION
21.1  Insuring Completeness
21.2  Arrests and Convictions
21.3  Completing, Adjourning, Recessing, Terminating, Ending, Continuing the Deposition: When Is It Actually Done?

APPENDICES

A.1 Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 26

A.2 Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 30

A.3 Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Form 52

B.1 Sample Notice of Nonparty Deposition on Oral Examination

B.2 Sample Notice of Nonparty Deposition on Oral Examination, Seeking Both Testimony and Production of Documents

B.3 Sample Notice of Deposition on Oral Examination of Witness Controlled by Defendant

B.4 Sample Notice of Rule 30(b)(6) Deposition of Oral Examination (Specifications for Rule 30(b)(6) Deposition of Defendant Johnson Company)

B.5 Sample Subpoena to Nonparty Deponent Residing in Another District

B.6 Sample Privilege Log

C.1 "The Daubert Deposition Dance"

Index