Other than testifying at trial, giving a deposition is the most important thing an injured worker does. Putting your best foot forward during a deposition takes work by both attorney and client. Preparation is essential to help our clients avoid becoming confused and, in the worst case, accidentally saying something that is not true. To prevent this, we take great care and plenty of time preparing clients for depositions.
Here are three steps we take to ensure our clients are prepared:
- We send a letter telling the client of the deposition scheduling. The letter includes:
- A “Deposition Handout” (copy available on request) which explains what a deposition is and some simple rules the client should follow, and
- A copy of the clients’ interrogatory answers to refresh our clients about what they remembered when the accident was fresh in their minds.
The letter tells the client that the deposition is very important and that they must contact our office to schedule a first conference with us, and, in the meanwhile, review the interrogatories and Deposition Handout.
- At the first conference:
- We discuss procedural matters, such as how to break down every question so our client does not get confused.
- We make sure the client is reviewing their interrogatory answers.
- We reinforce that telling the truth is the only way to go, and that even exaggerating is counter-productive.
- We identify the likely problem points for deposition, such as statute of limitations, notice, setting the date of the injury, knowing work restrictions, and the propensities of opposing counsel.
- We then schedule a second conference to be held immediately before deposition.
- At the second conference, for at least an hour before deposition, we meet with our client and cover areas of questioning that are expected to be problematic and ensure they fully prepared and comfortable.