How should I prepare myself for the deposition in my Orange County divorce case?
Legal discovery in divorce cases is itself very broad, and your deposition can seem very invasive and even scary. But preparation is the key to a better resolution.
Before the deposition, a deponent should review any documents that they reviewed as part of an expert report or, if the deponent is a party, any documents that have been submitted to the court and/or opposing counsel. Parties in a divorce proceeding should review pleadings and affidavits, interrogatory answers and documents responses. It is not necessary to memorize any statement or document. Some questions may arise during the deposition, especially financial ones, to which you won’t remember the exact numbers. It is permissible, even preferable, if you refer to the documents that have been submitted to the opposing attorney. For instance, “That information is on my tax returns.” If you continue to be pressed by the opposing attorney, state that it will be necessary to review the document in order to respond further.
Behavior at a deposition plays an important role. Think before you speak. Listen very carefully to each question. If there is anything that isn’t understood in the question, ask for it to be repeated or rephrased. Pay attention to the questions, there may well be double meanings and assumptions that you have testified to something that you didn’t.
After understanding the question, answer honestly and in a straightforward manner. Less is more. Don’t worry about a “bad” answer, just give right answers. If something is unknown or being estimated, make it very clear. Take your time answering. Think and formulate your answer before speaking. Remember to speak slowly and clearly, as this is all being transcribed. If you must point to something, describe what you are pointing to.
Do not argue. Never argue with the attorney or refuse to answer any questions, unless instructed by your counsel. Refusing to answer is only playing into the opposing attorney’s game plan; the opposing attorney may consider such a response as evasive or having struck a nerve. Joking is also a no-no. Humor doesn’t go well in the transcript, coming off as insincere or crude.
Do not lie. Always answer truthfully, your lawyer can deal with the truth effectively but is hindered when the truth is kept hidden.
Gerald A. Maggio is an Orange County divorce attorney, in Irvine, California. For more information or to schedule a consultation with Orange County divorce attorney Gerald Maggio, contact The Maggio Law Firm by calling (949) 553-0304 or visiting www.maggiolawfirm.com.
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