Not many lawyers focus on helping their clients prepare for their depositions. It’s often overlooked.
Now, there’s a lot of different truth out there and people can paint their own truth (even if it’s not factually backed up). That’s why clients have to feel comfortable and understand what it means to tell the truth and that the truth will set them free.
As a trial lawyer, you have to do the heavy lifting outside the conference room where the deposition will happen by spending enough time with your clients and having tough conversations about their cases.
The Right Mindset, The Right Rules, and The Right Tools
That’s what deposition prep is all about. You want your clients walking in with the right mindset and understanding the right set of rules, what’s going to happen and why, and what everybody’s role is. You want to use the right tools and techniques to help them gain clarity of thought, thereby improving the trajectory of the case.
Your clients will spend a long period of time waiting for their deposition. It usually takes two to three years but could even take four years. That’s just how the court system works. Now, in that period of time, memory naturally fades.
One of the biggest stumbling blocks for clients is their clarity of thought. When they go into their deposition, they try to remember things and really want to answer questions correctly.
There’s a lot of energy that goes into that memory recall. This is why using certain tools and techniques before the deposition is very helpful.
The Power of Roleplaying
Roleplaying helps give clients a look at what their deposition is going to be like. This prevents any surprises that would come up if you weren’t able to set expectations with them. For instance, do a 30-minute snapshot of difficult questions about the case.
As the lawyer, roleplay gives you a good idea of how clients react under pressure and how they’ll deal with the person who will ask them really hard personal questions.
At the end of the day, it’s a conversation. You want your clients to feel comfortable during their deposition and for them to have clarity of both thought and purpose.
If you want to learn more about boosting your case with your client, check out Episode 003: Client Deposition Prep: Boosting Your Case with Your Client.