It was interesting to watch the clips from Justin Bieber’s deposition:
I felt a lot like when I was watching the deposition scenes from The Social Network.
I hope this isn’t how clients think successful depositions really work. You watch these and I see them as big losses. Loose words are spoken that can be used successfully against the deponent later. The case is far less likely to settle because of the actions in the deposition. They also seem to show very poor work by the lawyer in either preparing the deponent or getting through to them the importance of just answering the question.
Now, lawyers can ask dumb questions. I also understand that depositions are never what the person wants to be doing that day. However, a skilled lawyer who takes a lot of depositions and listens is going to have a fun day with a person who doesn’t want to be there and wants to get out of it by fighting and running off at the mouth. They will inevitably say dumb things that hurt their position.
The fastest way to get a deposition over is to just answer the question as succinctly as possible, to not worry about what the answer means and to not go on in a way that just creates more questions. It means taking the time to make sure you understand the question first and not answering if you don’t understand a word or the whole question.
Tell the truth and answer humbly. It will get you out of there as quick as possible.
A founding partner with Bradshaw & Bryant, Mike Bryant has always fought to find justice for his clients—knowing that legal troubles, both personal injury and criminal, can be devastating for a family. Voted a Top 40 Personal Injury "Super Lawyer" multiple years, Mr. Bryant has also been voted one of the Top 100 Minnesota "Super Lawyers" four times.