Preparing the Witness for Deposition – From the Perspective of the Defense

Evan Schaeffer at The Trial Practice Tips Weblog  tracked down an article titled "Preparing A Witness for a Successful Deposition" written by Matt Keenan, a defense lawyer with Shook, Hardy and Bacon in Kansas City.  

An excerpt:

In my 20-some years of working with company witnesses as part of the discovery process, I’ve learned that the prospects of a deposition can stress even the most accomplished corporate executive.

One way of lowering their level of anxiety is to give them mileposts to follow as they prepare. Something that’s easy to remember but useful. This article shares with counsel my system for witness preparation, with tips and tricks for a successful undertaking.

My approach is based on a simple acronym – PLEASE.

Keenan goes on to explain that P is for prepare; L is for listen; E is for exercise control; A is for accept the obvious; S is for stay in your area; and E is for emotion is acceptable.

This article is excellent – and will help plaintiff’s lawyers know what to expect when walking into a deposition of a well-prepared witness.

There have been several posts recently on the subject on deposition preparation.  Why?  Because after one utilizes appropriate case selection techniques, no other aspect of pretrial preparation is more important to the success of the case than depositions. By "depositions" I mean to include the depositions of your opponents AND the deposition that will be taken of your client.   Those unwilling to put appropriate  time and effort into preparing for depositions would be advised to start writing wills.

Evan – thanks again for  the effort you have made to bring important information to the attention of the trial bar.  Your efforts are greatly appreciated.

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