Number 3 Pet Peeve – Deposition of a Client

I’m blogging my list of deposition “pet peeves” in a series of releases.  They are not necessarily in order of importance, but rest assured, all are great learning points for a client/witness.  Many of the cases that I litigate are matters in which thousands of pages of documents are produced by the parties.  Invariably, these documents are culled by attorneys and are marked and introduced at depositions.  In preparation for a deposition, I always instruct a witness who is handed a document to thoroughly familiarize himself or herself with the document before answering any questions about the document.  If this means that the client needs to read it word for word, then so be it.  The time a witness takes to read a document during a deposition will not be reflected in the written transcript.  With the proliferation of discovery and production of electronically stored information, the witness should make sure that he or she has been handed the final version of a document before answering any questions about the same.  Sometimes the differences between a draft and a final version are minor and a witness can only tell one from the other by reading the document word for word.  When it comes to documents introduced at a deposition, it is better to be safe than sorry, so have the witness carefully review all documents.


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