Depositions are usually taken in personal injury cases. In fact, for many personal injury lawyers in Seattle, Washington, the taking and defending of such depositions becomes routine. For clients, however, a deposition can be scary and intimidating. Personal injury lawyers who take the time to prepare their clients well for their depositions will often see better results in their cases.
First, it is important that clients have a clear understanding of what a deposition is. Explain that it is the taking of sworn testimony, but it will not take place in a courtroom. Advise your clients where the deposition will be conducted, as well as any information you have about the opposing attorney’s deposition style. The more clients can imagine how an event will proceed, the less anxious they will feel as the date approaches.
Warn your clients that, with a few exceptions, all questions must be answered. Many clients abhor the personal questions that opposing counsel asks during depositions, but they need to know that this is standard procedure.
If the deposition is taking place months or even years after the incident, advise your clients to review their legal documents and their medical records. Explain that they will be expected to discuss the incident and its impacts on them in detail.
It is crucial that clients know that they do not have to answer a question if they do not know or cannot remember the answer. Tell your clients that it is much better for them to state that they do not know something or cannot remember than to make an incorrect statement that may be used against them later in court.