Because we know that the success of your depositions is of the utmost importance to you and your clients, we continue to focus on providing you with useful tips, tools and information in our e-newsletters.
To this effect, this month we included helpful information about the handling of exhibits, using e-transcripts, a perspective on boxing in the witness, and our feature article focuses on which objections are appropriate in a deposition.
As always, we invite you to send us any articles or tips you may have regarding the discovery process so we can share them with our readers, as well.
Appropriate Objections in a Deposition
By Gordon L. Levinson
Have you ever taken a deposition and had your opponent continually assert inappropriate objections? One after the other: “Irrelevant” “hearsay” “assumes facts not in evidence,” “calls for an opinion.” Obnoxious, isn’t it?
Or worse yet, an attorney makes speaking objections blatantly designed to coach the witness, such as: “Calculated to mislead the jury into believing his side of the story, i.e., that the cardiologist failed to review the abnormal EKG and focused exclusively on the mucus in the lungs, when, in fact, the evidence suggests that the EKG was not conducted until after this witness examined the patient. I instruct the witness not to answer on the grounds that doing so would be prejudicial.”
Considering that depositions cost a thousand dollars or more to take and sometimes require weeks or months to convene, inappropriate objections can be pretty infuriating. This begs the question: Which objections are appropriate in a deposition?
Everyone loves something for nothing. Marketers invest a lot of time and effort trying to appeal to that trait. A recent trend in the legal arena has seen an explosion of so-called “Rebates” programs and expensive gifts and rewards to attorneys or their staff for scheduling depositions. It is important to be aware that accepting these so-called “Rebates” offered by court reporting firms may attract the attention of the Internal Revenue Service.
Some secretaries and paralegals are participating in the rebate programs without the knowledge of the firm or attorney. The rebates, in the form of cash, gift cards, travel, and shopping, are made to influence the selection of court reporting firms when scheduling depositions.
Did You Know? Charles Dickens’ early days as a court reporter in London’s Parliament became a subplot inDavid Copperfield.The court reporters in the O.J. Simpson trial took down more than 1 million lines of trial transcript.Actor Harvey Keitel began his professional career as a court reporter at Century Reporting Company in New York City.
The court reporter who accompanied Richard Nixon during part of his 1968 presidential campaign delivered transcripts of television show appearances to the media faster than the networks.
The federal judge who later became the first commissioner of baseball began his career as a court reporter.