THE CASE FOR IN-HOUSE DEPOSITION SEMINARS:
1. Adverse depositions determine case outcome.
Sure, favorable on-point case law, a bombshell document, or a "witness from God" influences many settlements and trials; but, case after case after case, the factor that predominantly determines case outcome – often dramatically – is the skill that the litigator wields while conducting adverse depositions.
2. All deposition-takers are "sole practitioners."
Pre-trial, a litigator can summon the best legal talent in the firm to assist in producing the very best case theory, pleading, discovery plan, motion, set of interrogatories, request for documents, request for admissions, response to opponent's discovery, and negotiation strategy. Yet when taking adverse depositions – fact or expert – each litigator is all alone, in effect a sole practitioner making major case decisions in real-time against the obstructionist tag-team of adverse deponent and opposing attorney.
3. The vast majority of litigators take mediocre depositions.
Proof? If your law firm's most experienced litigators take mediocre adverse depositions, then your less experienced litigators will certainly do no better. Want to know the true quality of the depositions taken by your big-case litigators? Simply send us one of their deposition transcripts for a (free) critique. The results will astonish. (That's how we convinced most of the firms on the LIST to sponsor a seminar.)
4. Orthodox deposition "wisdom" is wrong!
These four rules are in the canon of deposition orthodoxy:
a. Throughout an adverse deposition predominately ask non-leading questions ... quite unlike a trial cross-examination.
b. Customarily leave a good answer alone; don't touch it a second time thereby giving the adverse witness an opportunity to diminish, even defeat, that good answer.
c. Customarily save impeachment evidence for surprise at trial so that the "bad guys" – the adverse witness and opposing counsel – don't have weeks, mayb months, to concoct a plausible trial escape from the impeachment.
d. If, for whatever reason, the impeachment evidence is disclosed during the deposition, conceal as much as possible the final argument that flows from the impeachment evidence so that, as above, the "bad guys" cannot prepare an effective counter-argument for trial.
Each of these rules is wrong! Adhering to even one makes taking a great adverse deposition impossible. Yes, impossible.
5. Superb deposition teachers are rare, even in elite firms.
Proof? Instead of sending us that topnotch transcript, ask its taker to craft an in-house deposition teaching tool: a 20 page annotated deposition transcript that insightfully analyzes the archetypal cross-examination rules and techniques that were skillfully employed in that key deposition. (Awkward truth be told: no one will volunteer ... and not because of the one-hour effort such a task would require.)
6. Deposition training – beyond the basics – is never offered.
Proof? The in-firm mentoring system, whereby a new litigator second-chairs several depositions taken by a seasoned litigator, only teaches rudimentary skills. Much more training is needed; but typical deposition seminars and workshops present yawn-inducing, entry-level "wisdoms" that are of no value to any litigator who has taken at least 10 adverse depositions. Point? The standard in-firm training amounts to little more than "mediocrity in, mediocrity out."
7. Our seminars are indeed the best re adverse depositions.
Proof? See the "Evaluations" page; there you'll find thousands of reviews that rave about the real-world, practical value of our unique seminars.
8. Our seminars are $ati$faction guaranteed.
THE CASE AGAINST IN-HOUSE SEMINARS:
1. Your litigation partners and associates already take great adverse depositions ... every time out.