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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
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Deposition Strategy: Paul - Quick Refresher - Louisa, VA

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Deposition Strategy:

Paul - Quick Refresher - Louisa, VA - 4 1/2 yrs. ago self-reported inappropriate contact with 2 oldest daughters. DA didn't prosecute. 2 1/2 yrs. upon urging of wife and armed with new false allegations DA prosecuted and I plead guilty to a felony and a misdemeanor, no jail time. During the last 2 1/2 yrs. no contact at all with children. Was seeing the children on a limited basis, with supervision, prior to decision by ex and DA to prosecute on previously confessed area.

Question: I won the right to depose ex. this Wed. for 3 hours in prep for trial Oct. 25&26 with the disclaimer from the judge that I not try to "retry" the criminal conviction or the DSS 5 Findings that were overturned but I can ask questions regarding any deceit or coaching by the other side. Here's my thinking regarding what to cover but I need your feedback:

1. I know very little about the state of my 5 children in the last 2.5 years. Ask numerous questions to go up to speed on them for the purposes of arguing in court on Oct.25th how I can assist the kids "come along side them" in whatever they are doing and support those efforts.

2. Get my ex on record denying (or not) numerous areas that I know that she deceived investigative authorities for the purposes of seriously damaging both her credibility.

3. Ask extensive questions regarding their counseling or lack their of with the goal of demonstrating that my ex may be more focused on having, "sick"
children who don't want to reconcile with their father vs. healthy well-adjusted children who can and would like to walk through the journey of forgiveness, healing, and safe reconciliation.

Your thoughts?
Your questioning needs to be focused on during the time after you reported when you had limited contact and whether or not anything inappropriate happened during that time and whether or not there were any problems with the children from that time forward. Also, you can ask about coaching of her or if she coached the children on what to say to CPS or the therapist, but be careful if you do not have actual evidence to contradict her if she lies in her deposition, since you will be stuck with her answers unless you can later dig up evidence to prove she lied in the deposition.

You can ask about what she knows regarding the counseling sessions and whether or not she finds you to be a continued danger to the children based on the prior contact you had with them over the time after you self reported.


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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Paul,


Because I know that my ex has had numerous conversations with numerous people about numerous aspects of this case, there is no way that my ex would no for sure or not whether somebody from her side has been peeled off and is willing to speak candidly to my side re. some of the possible "negative" aspects of her behavior re. the whole situation. So my question is, what do you think about repeatedly asking the following question after questions that I know her answers could be misleading to me...


 


"Ms. X is there any reason that you can think of why someone who knows you and is familiar with this entire situation would have told me in the past or might tell me in the future that they had a very different understanding of the events or circumstances which you just described?"

You cannot repeatedly ask the same question, you would have to ask once and move on. If you ask the same questions more than once the attorney will object based on it being harassing.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

But you know what I am getting at. I only repeat that question after a new point....


 


"Mrs. X - did you tell Mrs. C version Y?"


 


"Ms. X is there any reason that you can think of why someone who knows you and is familiar with this entire situation would have told me in the past or might tell me in the future that they had a very different understanding of the events or circumstances which you just described?"


 


Mrs. X - on March 31st, 2012 child #1 told DSS A,B, and C. Did you tell child #1 to tell DSS A,B, and C?


 


"Ms. X is there any reason that you can think of why someone who knows you and is familiar with this entire situation would have told me in the past or might tell me in the future that they had a very different understanding of the events or circumstances which you just described?"


 


You see what I am getting at...I want her to be on regular notice through out the questioning that someone from her side may have shared the truth with me....so...be very careful with your answers....? No?


 


 

Yes, I see what you are getting at and you have to be very careful with your line of questioning, since the opposing counsel can claim it is still harassing as you could ask it as one question. However, this depends on how many of these you ask. If you ask about 4-5 people in this manner they are going to allow it, if you have a list of 100 people and you are asking each separately, the court would likely find it to be harassing. It is all a balancing act.
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