Because so few cases ever go to trial, depositions in employment law cases must be taken seriously. A strong deposition may lead to a good settlement. A weak deposition may decimate a party’s case. Keith Clouse, a Dallas, Texas employment lawyer, provides the following points to consider before testifying at a deposition.
1. Know the truth and be prepared to tell it. Prepare for the deposition by reviewing key documents. Testify honestly.
2. Answer only the question that was asked. Do not volunteer additional information.
3. If you do not understand the question, say so. Do not try to figure out what the lawyer is trying to ask.
4. Do not guess. If you cannot remember something, say so. If you need to look at a document to refresh your memory, say so.
5. Do not agree to an inaccurate statement. Sometimes a lawyer will include an inaccurate statement within a question. Do not agree to any inaccuracy or any inaccurate summaries of your testimony.
6. Be polite and respectful. Do not use humor or express anger.
7. Listen to your lawyer. Your lawyer will likely object to some questions that you must answer anyway. But if your attorney instructs you not to answer a question, do not answer it.
KEITH A. CLOUSE
Clouse Dunn LLP
214.220.3833 ( fax)