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January 26, 2016 Practice Points

Depositions: What Do You Want From Me?

By Kristin L. Beckman

In any litigator’s career, one must inevitably take his or her first deposition—and then most likely hundreds more after that.

One of the primary considerations of a deposition is what do you need to get? This means what admissions, statements, or answers to unknowns are essential either to prove your case or for use in dispositive motion practice? If you begin preparing for your deposition by thinking about what the purpose of the deposition is, it can help guide you through topics, then filled in with myriad questions. This can be accomplished with thorough research:

  • What are the elements of your case or your opponent’s case?
  • What standards or practices must you establish, if any?
  • Are there any issues that can be resolved through dispositive motion practice and, if so, what testimony would be helpful to obtain to accomplish that goal?

By starting at the end of your case and working backwards, a deposition can soon transform from a potentially aimless fact-seeking mission to a direct, concise, but thorough exploration of any and all issues needed for your case, with a detailed eye towards how the testimony may help you down the road.

—Kristin L. Beckman, Barrasso Usdin Kupperman Freeman & Sarver, LLC, New Orleans, LA

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