February 23, 2016 Articles

Stoning the Giant: Dealing with Bullies in Depositions

By Shari L. Klevens and Alanna Clair

The practice of law, as a profession, has an inherent contradiction: It is one of the only vocations that has a code of conduct governing civility among its members as well as a reputation for being a career choice for the uncivil.

Courts and bar associations urge the importance of attorney professionalism and civility. One area in which a lack of civility has a risk of running rampant is in depositions. Depositions are unique because they have an adversarial air to them, yet lack the involvement of a neutral like a judge or mediator to address misconduct in real time. As a result, it is not uncommon, unfortunately, for some attorneys to adopt a “bullying” bravado to disrupt the deposition and intimidate counsel.

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