The defendant is asking to hold a depositive meeting with me. How should I prepare for it? Also, he is asking me for a place for the meeting, do you think my home would be good place or a public place is a better choice??
Country relating to Question: United States
State (if USA): Texas
Meeting about what? Please explain. Thanks!
He wants deposition to be conducted.
If he wants to take your deposition - then the attorney should also have noticed you where the deposition is to take place (usually in their office or a conference room somewhere).What is the underlying case about?Are you the defendant or plaintiff or what in that case?
I am a pro se plaintiff. The case is about negligence which store left a security tag on the merchandise and caused us reputational loss. It pretty much makes you look like a shoplifter and also the merchandise was useless as my brother bought it and had to catch a flight next day. So, what goes in a deposition?
A deposition is a formal "question and answer" situation. You are placed under oath and then the opposing attorney asks you various questions.They are allowed to ask all types of questions - what is termed a "fishing expedition" to see what your answers are. That they questions may not be relevant or the answers be evidence is not reason to object.Questions permissible (for discovery) - question/information seeks/sought for (example hearsay) will be admissible at trial if the information appears reasonably calculated to lead to discovery of admissible evidence rule 4003.1(b)question OK - if the information sought appears reasonably calculated to lead to discovery of admissible evidence 1. Persons having the right to attend depositions a. There is no independent right of access by non-parties to materials produced in discovery and not made part of the public record b. A pre-trial deposition does not become part of a trial until and unless the contents of the deposition are offered in evidence c. The following individuals will be allowed to be present during the deposition i. The deponent ii. Attorney representing the deponent iii. The examining or deposing attorney iv. Attorneys for other parties - any party to the litigation has a right to have an attorney present at every deposition for the purposes of protecting that party’s interests v. The court reporter vi. The parties to the litigation - any party has a right to be present at all depositions; however, the judge may limit the attendance of a party through a protective order d. Expert or legal assistant attendance - a party may contest an expert or legal assistant, however, when acting as agents of the attorney, such persons cannot be excluded at trial and are within the ambit of the attorney-client privilege and work product doctrine2. Ritualistic nature of depositions a. Introductions b. Offering coffee, etc. c. Reminding deponent that under oath d. Describing the deposition procedure e. Inquiring whether deponent is experiencing any physical or psychological difficulties3. Stipulations a. The examining attorney should request that any stipulation be specified onto the record and not the “usual stipulations” b. Potential stipulations i. Agree to waive the reading and signing of the deposition transcript (1) should rarely be entered into ii. Agree that withdrawn questions will be omitted from the transcript (1) creates a cleaner record iii. Agreement that all evidentiary objections will be preserved until trial iv. Agreement that any opposing attorney’s objection inures to the benefit of all (1) stops other attorneys from having to make the same objection on the record v. Agreement that an instruction from counsel that the deponent not answer shall be deemed the equivalent of the deponent’s refusal to answer4. Deposition admonitions:1. To reprove gently but earnestly. 2. To counsel (another) against something to be avoided; caution. 3. To remind of something forgotten or disregarded, as an obligation or a responsibility. a. I'm going to ask you a series of questions regarding the incident that is the subject of this lawsuit and which occurred on December 5, 1995. Do you understand this? b. If at any time you don't understand one of my questions, please say so and I will repeat or rephrase it until you do understand the question. Do you understand this rule? c. If at any time you don't hear one of my questions, please say so and I will repeat it to ensure that you do hear it. Do you understand? d. All of your answers must be verbal since the court reporter cannot take down nonverbal cues such as a nod of the head or shrug of the shoulders. Do you understand that all your responses must be stated in words? e. If you do not know the answer to a question, simply state you do not know. I do not expect you to guess or to speculate as to responses. f. Please make your answers clear for the record so the court reporter can accurately transcribe each of the words you state. Do you understand this? g. Please wait until I finish each of my questions before answering and I will wait until you finish each of your answers before I ask another question. In this way, the court reporter keeps a clear record without interruption. h. We will take a break about every hour to give the court reporter and all of us a chance to refresh ourselves. If you need a break prior to that time, please request one and we will take one. i. You understand that the deposition will be transcribed by the court reporter and that everything said here today will be recorded. Do you understand that? j. You understand that, at trial, all the testimony given here today will be available in written form, and if I ask you a question at trial that I ask you today, you may be asked to explain or otherwise account for any difference in your answers that may occur. Do you understand? k. Do you understand that your testimony today is being given under oath, as if you were in a court of law, i.e., you have been sworn to tell the truth? l. And finally, the deponent must be asked the catch-all question: Do you understand each and every one of these rules as I have stated them? If the deponent answers in the negative, the examiner must take the time to discover which rule was unclear and review that rule with the deponent. If the deponent answers in the affirmative, the examiner should follow up with this final statement: "That's fine. You understand that these rules assure that if I ask a question and you give an answer to that question it will be assumed that you understood the question as posed and your answer is intended to be responsive as rendered. Do you understand this statement?" This final affirmation fairly precludes any claim at trial by the deponent that a question was confusing or an answer was not responsive due to a poorly phrased question. The recitation of these rules establishes both attorney tone and control. If a cordial relationship is desired, these initial remarks should be stated in a friendly manner. A more stern, formal atmosphere necessitates a more rigid recitation of the rules. Deponents respond to the atmosphere created by the examiner during these initial moments. Thus, the rules are an integral part of an effective deposition, and should be stated with meaning.5. Use of exhibits a. Examining attorney should have exhibits organized and marked for use prior to the deposition i. Using the court reporter mark the exhibits during the questioning is usually employed6. Leading questions - the fundamental rule that a deposition may operate like a cross-examination at trial a. Most attorneys warn clients not to volunteer information or otherwise assist the examiner in the deposition b. Deponent’s own attorney nor attorney’s for parties aligned with or friendly to the deponent are permitted to use leading questions in their interrogation c. Deposing a person aligned with the opposition permits the examiner the right to lead, or create the flavor of a cross-examination i. Hostile witness, adverse party or witness identified with the other party - the interrogation may proceed by leading questions 42 Pa.C.S.A. §5935 ii. Examiner may lead he may choose not to depending on the purpose of his questions or the area of inquiry (1) when trying to gather info - use nominal leading questions (2) pin down certain testimony - use leading questions7. Question format - open vs. closed questions a. Open-ended questions elicit narrative answers - i.e.”Tell me everything you said to him.” b. Close-ended questions clarify and probe c. Start with general inquiries and then shift to specific probes8. Impeachment information a. Big question - whether examiner, if possess certain impeaching information, wishes to consider raising at deposition or at time of trial9. Estimating distance and time a. Examiner can deal with in two ways: i. If deponent states bad at estimating then begin with extremely high estimates to pin down deponent - thereby pinning down estimates ii. Ask deponent to specify terms in which would feel comfortable establishing an estimation - i.e. feet, yards, car lengths10. Closing questions a. Important to specify who, what when where, and how questions b. Have you told us everything that you remember happening at that time c. Get all details of any conversations held with the deponent including exact quotations or, at a minimum, paraphrases of the conversation11. Information from other sources a. Information obtained from other sources other than the deponent can be presented in the deposition for verification or contradiction b. Causes the deponent to be careful because he knows there is another source of information i. First seek the deponent’s version through information ii. Second, the outside information can be presented to a suggestive or leading format12. Discovery of witness preparation materials13. Deponent answers - generally a. Examiner must control and monitor the deponent and responses to ensure accuracy14. Unresponsive answer a. Examiner should insist that deponent restate answer until it is complete and accurate b. It may cause the deponent to change answer to “I don’t know.”15. Rambling answer a. When deponent rambles examiner may move to either strike that portion of the answer or inform deponent that he has answered the question16. Incomplete answer a. Insist that deponent give a complete and sufficient answer b. Ask the deponent whether he knows anything else or has stated everything he knows in full response to the question17. Handling objections made as strategy a. Every non-examining attorney has a right to make a legitimate objection during the deposition i. Ordinarily the examiner should insist on an answer subject to the objection b. Objecting attorney should specify grounds for objection and if examiner uncertain as to basis request an explanation on the record c. Objections to relevance can usually be cured by rephrasing question or asking other questions to lay a foundation d. When defending attorney instructs deponent not to answer question - examiner should request the deponent to state his refusal to answer on the record i. The question should be certified on the record which preserves the option of having the judge compel an answer (1) insufficient reasons for the objection may produce sanctions pursuant to rule 401918. Requests for recess a. Defending attorney has absolute right to confer with his deponent during the questioning or during recess b. Both PA and fed recognize the attorney’s right to initiate a private conference for the purpose of determining whether a privilege should be asserted i. A recess should never be granted when there is a question pending unless privilege is involved19. Concluding the deposition a. Examiner should solidify the testimony of the deponent20. Submission of record to deponent a. Deponent has absolute right to - rule 4017 i. Have the deposition transcribed fully ii. Read te record or have it read to him iii. Make any changes in form or substance before signing the record21. Waiver a. Deponent may waive rights voluntarily or involuntarily i. Voluntary ii. Involuntarily - if witness fails to sign the deposition within 30 days of its submission to him b. Defending attorney should never waive signature22. Changes in deposition testimony a. Scope of changes i. Deponent may make changes in the “form or substance” of deposition testimony (1) the changes may be made even if the completely contradict the original answer (a) the changes in fact may be made for any reason at all (2) the substance of the testimony must be thoroughly reviewed to determine whether it should be changed b. Use of changes at trial i. Balance of harm created at trail from original testimony versus harm from testimony that has changed from the deposition (1) should not be made unless defending attorney can “sell” the reasons for the changes to the jury (a) W didn’t understand the question (b) obtained info and now knows original response was incorrect (c) original response, though correct when made, is no longer true23. One deposition/one attorney rule a. Even though no formal provision in PA - if a deposition is taken of a natural person, including a party to the action, neither the party who noticed the deposition, nor any other party who received notice of the deposition, may take a subsequent deposition of that deponent without leave of court or by consent b. Discretion of the trial court i. Court may allow deposition to matters not addressed in the first deposition c. One attorney per party as questioner i. Examination by multiple attorneys is confusing to the deponent and may be oppressive (1) however in multiple day depositions can use different attorneys (a) different areas may only be covered DEPOSITION OBJECTIONS1. Deposition objections - generally a. Myth (only federal) - i. objections not made during the course of the deposition are waived except privilege b. Instructing the witness not to answer is improper except in limited exception of questions calling for privileged information2. Rule 4011 - no deposition shall be permitted if sought in a. Bad faith b. Would cause unreasonable annoyance c. Embarrassment d. Oppression or burden to deponent e. Relates to privileged matter3. General principles applicable to objections a. Rules of evidence are applied as if the witness were testifying at trail rule 4020(c) b. Most evidentiary objections need not be made at the deposition to preserve them for trial c. Not objectionable that the information will be inadmissible at trial if the information appears reasonably calculated to lead to discovery of admissible evidence d. Where there is an objection the witness should ordinarily proceed to answer the question i. Evidence objected to shall be taken subject to the objection e. An objection is waived only if the grounds for it could have been obviated or removed if presented at that time rule 4016(c) i. The test is whether the problem with the question could have been cured at the deposition - if the problem could have been cured, the failure to object is a waiver4. Proper and necessary objections at depositions a. Were errors or irregularities are curable if promptly addressed at a deposition a specific objection must be timely made rule 4016 i. Manner of taking the deposition ii. Administration of the oath or affirmation iii. The conduct of a party, attorney, deponent, or deposition officer iv. The form of any questions or answer5. Objecting to the manner of taking the deposition a. Encompasses all conduct and circumstances pertaining to the manner of taking and recording the deposition i. Method by which the deposition is recorded (1) video tape ii. The deposition location iii. Qualifications of the deposing officer6. Objecting to the form of any questions or answer a. Include: i. The question is compound ii. The question is ambiguous or unintelligible iii. The question calls for a narrative or is too general iv. The question misstates evidence or misstates testimony v. The question is argumentative vi. The question assumes facts not in evidence vii. The question calls for speculation viii. The question is leading (1) this objection is proper if the deponent is examined by his own attorney or by attorney aligned with his party (2) this objection is improper when a party deposes an adverse witness, adverse party or a witness identified with an adverse party b. The deposing attorney is usually better served by waiting until questioning has been completed in order to avoid many trips to court if more than one objections arises7. Objections based on privilege a. Evidence beyond the scope of discovery i. Privileges (1) accountant-client (2) attorney-client (a) corporation (b) work product doctrine (c) carry-over immunity (d) crime-fraud exception (e) confidentiality (3) self-incrimination (a) 5th amendment - constitution protect every person against being compelled to be a witness against himself (b) only future criminal proceedings (c) etc. (4) clergyman’s privilege (5) husband-wife privilege (6) physician-patient privilege (7) psychiatrist-psychologist privilege (8) news reporter privilege (9) confidential communications to school personnel (10) sexual assault counselor privilege (11) mental health records (12) peer review protection act (13) accident reports and investigations (14) confidential informer (15) self-critical analysis (16) personal assets of the defendant (a) when only compensatory damages being sought - invasion of privacy and therefore can’t get (b) where punitive damages being sought - defendant’s financial status becomes a proper subject of pretrial discovery (17) alcohol and drug abuse records (18) confidential mediation communications and documents (19) waiver of privilege8. Unnecessary deposition objections a. Competency, relevancy or materiality of he testimony are not waived by failure to object before or during the taking of the deposition b. All substantive objections preserved until time when trial judge can make a ruling9. Objecting to answers to deposition questions a. Non-responsive answer - examining attorney should state that the response was non-responsive or face the possibility of waiver in the future10. Proper method of objecting a. Not sufficient to state “objection” without specifying the grounds therefore b. The deposition record should include the following i. That an objection was made; and ii. The proper grounds for the objectionI have more information and will post that in another window.
So, basically deposition is out of the court trial. Should I as a plaintiff do a recording devise or something else on a deposition. Also, this will not be in the court. Your copy/paste answer has 'court reporter' in it. I guess that won't be applicable in my case since this is out of the court. Also, is home a good place to do this or any other more professional place. The defendant's attorney is asking me if he should arrange a place.
No need - a court reporter transcribes the entire deposition word for word. You can buy a copy of the transcript for around $150.00 - it all depends on how long the deposition lasts as to what the cost is.A deposition can be used at trial for impeachment purposes - that you answered a question differently at trial than during your deposition.Whomever is taking the deposition (taking your deposition) - they arrange the location. Instructions for Client’s Deposition1. Read your answers to interrogatories at least two or three times before your deposition to make certain that your answers are consistent in both proceedings.2. Please dress appropriately for the deposition since the defense attorney will judge your conduct, appearance, and demeanor as a witness. Dress and prepare as if you were going for a job interview and take this opportunity to rehearse as though you were appearing in court.3. At the deposition, speak clearly, answer the questions audibly, do not chew gum, lose your temper, or be discourteous to the other attorney.4. Answer each question truthfully and accurately. Even if you believe your answer may work against you, do not lie because even a minor lie or untruth can come back to haunt you and destroy your chances in this case.5. If you do not recall an event or other fact accurately, be sure to indicate that your memory may be weak on such detail.6. If you do not understand a question, ask that it be repeated or the wording changed. Do not answer a question that you do not understand.7. You may be asked questions which you believe are not relevant or appropriate. It is my job to object if, in fact, such questions are inappropriate. It is not your place to object or argue with defense counsel. If I do not instruct you to refrain from answering the question, answer the question as best you can even if it involves information that you do not really want to disclose.8. Do not exaggerate, under any circumstances the facts of the case. Any exaggeration will possibly be used against you.9. Answer the question as it has been asked. Do not try to go into elaborate details unless they are asked for.10. Do not interrupt the opposing attorney while he/she is asking you a question. Even if you know how he/she is going to finish his/her question, wait for him/her to do so and think about your answer before you start talking.11. Be aware of certain questions that may be asked by the opposing attorney in which the opposing attorney makes certain suppositions and assumptions of fact before the question. If the opposing attorney makes a statement or assertion in his/her question that is not accurate, be certain to clarify such assumption. In other words, do not be led down a path that is not really accurate.12. Listen for questions which are asked in the alternative such as "Were the weather conditions dry or wet?" It is possible that the conditions may have been somewhat in between. Or "Were the lighting conditions dark or light?" If the answer is somewhere in between, then be certain to clarify.13. There are times when the opposing attorney will try to repeat your answer by paraphrasing or summarizing your answer, but the opposing attorney will change some aspect of that answer. Listen very carefully to any paraphrasing or repetition of your answer and if it is not accurate, do not hesitate to state that the attorney has not accurately rephrased your answer.14. You may be asked whether or not any written or oral statements were given about this incident and if so, it is appropriate to tell the opposing attorney who received or recorded your statement.15. If you are asked whether or not you have talked to anybody about your case, do not be alarmed by such a question. You may answer truthfully by saying that you have discussed this case with me (your attorney), your family, friends, and possibly business associates.16. Do not look to me for assistance in answering the question unless it relates to some detail concerning the litigation. You are only required to answer a question to the best of your ability and if you are not certain about dates, times, etc., simply answer the question as best you can. If I think it is appropriate to interject, I will do so and assist you but such an incident will not occur very often.17. Do not be surprised if I do not ask you any questions. It is not my deposition and usually any questions I may ask could hurt your case more than help you. I may decide to clarify certain answers, but in most cases I usually do not ask any questions of my own client at the deposition.18. Be aware that there are several purposes of this deposition. First, the opposing (possibly the defense) attorney wants to see what kind of a witness you will be. If you impress the opposing attorney that you are a likeable and honest person, the chances of settling your case become greater. Secondly, the opposing attorney may try to force you into inconsistent statements or testimony regarding your case. For that reason, it is important to be honest, truthful and as accurate as possible. Thirdly, the opposing attorney will try to elicit as much information as possible so that his file will contain the necessary information for preparation at trial. Because we believe in your case, it is important not to hide anything and to be truthful.
20 years legal practitioner: real estate, collections, estate, civil, business, and criminal law
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).