A common practice in litigation divorces, depositions typically involve question and answer sessions, conducted by the opposing side’s counsel. Although not carried out in a public courtroom, the process can be intimidating. The better you prepare, the less your chances of post-deposition foot-in-mouth syndrome. Keep the following do’s and don’ts in mind as your deposition draws near:
Don’t: Procrastinate on Deposition Preparations
Don’t wait to talk with your lawyer about deposition procedure and strategy. If possible, discuss this matter several weeks in advance.
Do: Inform Your Lawyer of Documents or Evidence You Intend to Show at the Deposition
Recently unearthed evidence will do you little good if your lawyer remains clueless about your discovery. Let your attorney see all documents you intend to show at the deposition well ahead of time.
Don’t: Forget Information Every Parent Is Expected to Know
Unsure of your children’s birthdays? Can’t remember the names of their teachers at school? Your ignorance will not bode well for you. Brush up on the essentials ahead of time to ensure you answer even seemingly pointless questions correctly.
Do: Stage a Mock Deposition
A divorce deposition can be a nightmare for anybody who fears speaking in public. Ease those nerves by conducting a mock deposition, in which a trusted individual asks anticipated questions. Practice taking a deep breath and thinking through each answer carefully before speaking. Record the session and play back to determine any quirks in facial expressions or gestures. Poor body language could seal your fate, even if you answer every question perfectly. Keep practicing until you feel confident in your ability to answer questions accurately and succinctly under pressure.
Don’t: Prepare Assistive Notes
Depositions would be far easier with pre-prepared note cards. Unfortunately, while these could help you recall essential dates and other facts, their use may play into the opposing side’s favor. Avoid preparing notes to bring to the deposition unless your attorney voices his or her approval.
Do: Be Confident!
If you know the facts of your case and understand the deposition process, you have nothing to fear—especially if you have a skilled attorney in your corner. Calm confidence will give you an edge over the opposing side, so stop freaking out and place your full trust in your attorney.