You should take deposition preparation seriously, as the testimony is taken under oath. You need to prepare your witness rigorously so that they do not volunteer any information that will help the opposing side build a stronger case against your client.
If you have a scheduled deposition, ensure you incorporate the following steps when preparing your witness.
Prepare your witness with questions
The best way to help your witness prepare is by asking them questions that you feel the opposing side will ask. Ensure you show your witness the best way to answer without volunteering too much information.
Prepare your witness to take their time and think about every question asked to ensure they have concise and accurate answers. Rushing to give answers increases the chances of making mistakes and the opposing side may use this to their advantage by pushing you to answer faster. If you prepare your witness well, they will allow you time to object to questions you feel they should not answer.
Prepare your witness by cautioning them against answering questions they do not understand. If a question is asked about a certain exhibit, let them know that they should ask to be shown the exhibit or piece of evidence before they answer the question.
Ensure the witness knows that guessing answers is wrong. Emphasize the importance of witnesses saying if they do not remember something or are not familiar with it, as it is not a crime. Let them know that guessing may result in giving false information, which is a crime.
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Go through evidence and case information with your witness
Going through facts will help prevent confusion. Your witness will not be easily bullied by the opposing side if they are confident in the information that they have. The answers given by the witness can be used in trial because they are recorded.
The truth is always easy to follow through if you stick to it during preparation, deposition, and court. The opposing side will be looking to make you lose the case based on honesty violation. Going through the facts with your witness helps them grasp the information better and decreases the chances of adding additional information that may be a lie.
Explain what the witness should expect in the deposition to help prepare them psychologically. You should inform them of the room that will be used and the people that are expected to be present.
Encourage the witness to seek your counsel
Your presence as an attorney is very important in the deposition. You are there to help the witness by objecting to questions and calming them down when they feel too nervous. For a successful deposition, you need to discuss ways to communicate with the witness when they need your help during the deposition to ensure it is successful.
Is your witness ready for the deposition?
If you have used the above steps for preparation, then chances are very high that your witness is well prepared for the deposition. We wish you success in the deposition.