Depositions are designated times for the client to speak and answer questions asked by the opposing counsel.  The responses become sworn testimony for the case, and can be used at trial. There are several ways to approach witness deposition preparation, such as the structured approach.

What is structured deposition preparation?

In this multi-step process, the lawyer helps the client understand how the deposition will work and assists the client in organizing their testimony in alignment with the questions. It is not about coaching a client to speak or perform in a certain way with their testimony. The goal of this approach is to empower the client by explaining their role in the case and how they can fulfill this role through the deposition. 

How is a structured approach different than other types of deposition prep?

This kind of prep is approached from the client’s point of view, not the lawyer’s. Lawyers view depositions in a completely different way than that of the client. Due to the attorneys’ familiarity with the process, they may become desensitized and make assumptions about what the client may or may not know. Additionally, an attorney’s focus is to ensure the client “survives” the deposition without causing any problems for case and avoids mistakes and traps. Therefore, common deposition preparation includes requests for the client to say only “yes” or “no,” without any further explanation or information. Structured deposition preparation sets aside time for discovery, discussion, and insight tailored to the specific client’s point of view.

Why would a lawyer use a structured deposition preparation?

A client prepared with the structured method will have a clear understanding of the purpose of the deposition and the types of questions they will be asked. With a clear mind, a client can provide authentic testimony when asked who is responsible and what impact the injuries have had on the client. Genuine, unencumbered testimony improves the value of a case.

Why would a lawyer hire a consultant to conduct structured deposition preparation?

Lawyers can get buried deep in their cases and lose the ability to see all the angles. An outside expert can provide a new perspective and spot issues the lawyer may have missed. A consultant can also speak openly to the client about behavior problems, case issues or other detrimental obstacles in a way that the lawyer cannot. This can be especially helpful when it comes to troublesome or time-consuming clients.

As a hired witness preparation and trial consultant, Elizabeth Larrick has helped many lawyers prepare powerful cases. By utilizing Elizabeth’s services, you can focus on other case issues and be more effective with your time, all the while knowing with confidence that your client will be amply prepared.

Have questions about preparing your client? Schedule a call.

Elizabeth is here to help secure your case by strengthening your client, making your witnesses confident and your case rock solid. Contact Larrick Law Firm today to get started on organizing the information we need for witness preparation.

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