If this is your first time at a deposition, you may feel like your nerves are on a bed of steel. When giving your pre-trial testimony under oath, answer questions to your best ability. Remember that the judge makes the final decision if a question or answer is admissible at trial. Here are some ways to help you testify your deposition.
Prepare for the Deposition
Have time to prepare yourself and your attorney for a potential case They need all the facts and documents to help write a deposition summary. Cases often settle before going to trial, so telling your story from the get-go can help you position yourself for a stronger argument.
When you have an accurate deposition, it may increase the value of your settlement. Make sure you review your discovery responses, medical records, and other documents to help you create a better case for a court proceeding. If you have an accident, tell the full details of your story and how it impacted your life.
You want to create a good impression to help have a better response to any defense claims.
Make a Strong Impression
Have accurate information is only one of the ways to prepare testimony. Lawyers are looking for people that are likable and believable. Some attorneys will avoid your case if they feel that the court would not hear you out.
Lawyers want to hear the sincerity in your voice and will judge you on a first impression. Getting angry may lead the court to perceive you as a violent person. Being emotional can bring more conviction to the things you say.
You want your lawyer to gauge you as a genuine person with whom the court can emphasize.
Avoid saying “I guess so” due to uncertainty. If you’re unsure about a question, it’s fine to note that during your deposition. Some details may be a bit foggy, but try to keep everything as accurate as possible. Take your time instead of fumbling with your responses or giving a definite answer. Ask for a break to settle your nerves.
When asked about dates and times, it’s okay to give a range. Say “approximately” or “about” when you have a general idea of what’s happened but can’t say the specifics.
You don’t have to be nervous at a pre-trial testimony. Have a reliable attorney, prepare for any questions, and speak honestly about the situation.