If your case hasn’t been settled, your lawsuit will continue through the court system towards trial. On the way, you will be required to appear at a deposition also called an EBT. The lawyer for the people we are suing will ask you many questions, usually lasting approximately 2-3 hours. You will be asked:
- How the accident happened;
- What injuries you have;
- If you had prior injuries or claims;
- The doctors you saw;
- The treatment you received;
- How your injuries have affected your life at home and at work;
- Your work history; and other questions.
You will have to give sworn answers before a court reporter. Your answers can be read back at trial and used to show or imply that you are lying. Even when you are not lying, but answer the wrong way, it’s easy for the defense attorney to make it look like you are!
Your behavior and the answers you give at your deposition one of the most important parts of your case. The lawyer for the defense is well-trained to try to trap you into giving answers they can use against you at trial. Even if your case is settled before trial, how you do at your deposition will greatly affect your settlement. If you don’t do well at your deposition, you can ruin your case!
The common method many lawyers used to prepare you for your deposition is to meet with you an hour or even less on the morning of your deposition. Sometimes, lawyers will have their client come to their office a day or two before the deposition to prepare. This is almost always disastrous for you.
The reason can be seen in the OSHA US Dept. of Labor chart “Percent Effective Presentations with Visual Aids” below, which shows that when you listen to instructions, there is a 10% effectiveness when only listening. Obviously, this would be even less when you’re listening to legal instructions familiar to lawyers.
Because clients almost always substantially harm their case when testifying at a deposition, we looked for a way to change that. We accomplished that with our video showing you how an accident occurred and showing you every facet of the deposition. You will see how to behave at your deposition, how to answer questions in a way that will damage your case and how to answer the same questions in a way that will substantially improve the value of your case.
As can be seen in the above chart, the effectiveness of the presentation increases from 10% to approximately 70% when both listening and seeing. With our video, your effectiveness will be closer to 90-100% because, in addition to just listening and seeing, you will be engaged in the presentation.
Since preparing our clients this way, we have experienced the best deposition testimony we have ever seen! Our clients have testified as well as if they had had a lawyer.
Sit on a comfortable couch while watching our deposition video on a large screen TV and we review the facts of your case with you
If you think we’ll prepare you like a lawyer for your deposition, we’re not done. After your deposition, you will have to appear at one or more physical exams by the defense doctors. Most lawyers let their clients go to these exams alone! Not us. We go with you and bring our own doctor! Of course, you’ll be very well prepared.
How NOT to testify and appear at your deposition!
Justin Bieber sets the all-time best example of how not to act at a deposition in this video (below). The deposition was being conducted by the attorney for a photographer who was injured.
Even Justin’s lawyer handles the deposition poorly. In fact, I can’t believe how bad his lawyer is. He acts like Justin’s yes man rather than his lawyer.
Justin’s behavior and answers show that he wasn’t prepared properly, if at all. His testimony looks like he received the too often typical 20-60 minute prep for his deposition. Don’t let this happen to you!
Note the following colossal blunders Justin Bieber made during this 6:24 minute video (TMZ edited clips out of time order). This is what Justin Bieber does wrong:
- Sways back and forth in his chair indicating nervousness and arrogance simultaneously.
- Leans back, looks tired, fakes being tired and appears uninterested.
- Shakes his head constantly.
- Makes faces and smiles inappropriately.
- Is argumentative.
- Comments on the questions.
- Gives answers before questions are asked.
- Asks his attorney questions.
- Objected to a question.
- Refused to answer questions, often rudely.
- Doesn’t look at the lawyer asking questions.
- Instructs the plaintiff’s attorney and says “I think my lawyer’s asking a question”.
- Makes fun of questions.
- Abuses the best answer “I don’t recall” by holding up his hands and smiling, making the answer appear to be a lie.
- Winks at the video camera (not film!), he also raises his eyebrow.
- Ridicules the plaintiff’s attorney when the attorney doesn’t seem to know the difference between video and film.
- Instructs the plaintiff’s attorney “Don’t ask me about that again”.
- Waves his finger at the plaintiff’s attorney.
- Calls the plaintiff’s attorney Katie Couric.
- Criticizes the plaintiff’s attorney.
- Denies knowing Raymond Usher IV but admits knowing Usher stating that Usher sounds familiar obviously lying because he then testified that he knows Usher very well.
If you want to be well prepared for your deposition, call the Personal Injury Dream Team™!
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Attorney Phil Franckel is the author of this page and all content on this website.