January 2014 - Depositions

Things You Should Know

ABA Section of Litigation Appointments Call for Nominations
Chair-Elect Nancy Degan has opened the appointment process for the Section’s leadership team in 2014–15. Please review the instructions and the application form for a leadership position. This form can also be used to nominate another Section member for a leadership position. To identify one or more positions that may be of interest to you or your nominee, you can review the Section's organizational chart. All Section members are eligible for a leadership appointment. The online process is open, and the deadline for the submission of all applications is February 21, 2014. If you have problems completing the online application, please contact Kieshia Cobb at kieshia.cobb@americanbar.org.




2014 Winter Leadership Meeting was a great success!
The meeting was held at the beautiful Grand Del Mar Resort in Del Mar, California, just north of San Diego. At the plenary session on Friday, constitutional scholar Erwin Chemerinsky discussed the latest developments from the U.S. Supreme Court. The weekend concluded with the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Sonia Nazario, who wrote Enrique’s Journey, the odyssey of a Honduran boy who braves unimaginable hardship to reach his mother in the United States.


Section Annual Conference
We are thrilled to invite you to attend ABA Section of Litigation Annual Conference, which will be held April 9–11, 2014, at The Phoenician, in Scottsdale, AZ. The conference will offer over 45 CLE sessions, including 3 plenaries, and feature over 150 of the nation’s most respected judges, academics, and trial lawyers as they address litigation development and techniques in trial advocacy. In addition to the education portion, the Section Annual Conference provides an opportunity of meeting and networking with distinguished guests and fellow participants. Scottsdale offers an abundance of activities and services to create a unique experience for everyone, including desert tours, flatwater rafting, Hummer tours, and horseback riding. Local destination management company GEP Arizona offers 2014 Section Annual Conference group rates and advance registration for the above mentioned activities.


Public Service: Children’s Rights
The Children’s Rights Litigation Committee was created to address the vast underrepresentation of children all aspects of the legal system and to train both full time and pro bono children’s law attorneys. The Committee can provide technical assistance to lawyers starting or expanding non-profit children’s law centers and to law firms starting internal pro bono programs.

The Committee has projects focused on a child’s right to counsel in the child welfare system and on disrupting the school-to-prison pipeline. Contact the committee to get involved or for more information on starting a pro bono project.


Theme of the Month: Depositions


The Section has many resources to assist litigators. The theme of this month's email is Depositions. Here’s a sampling of materials on Depositions.



How to Take a Deposition - Dan Goldman and Mor Wetzler For lawyers learning how to take depositions, there are a few guiding principles to keep in mind and a number of traps to avoid.
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The Power Prep: Effective Preparation of Your Client for a Deposition - Erin E. Rhinehart Strategic planning is necessary to ensure a successful deposition.
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A New Lawyer Prepares for and Defends His First Deposition
James E. Stewart The hard work has finally paid off. Our new lawyer has been noticed for his progress through the seemingly endless research assignments and discovery projects and all the other tribulations of the recent law school graduate.
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Preparing for Your First Civil Trial, Part Two: Depositions
Jennifer L. Saulino, Maureen R. Knight, and LaQuita S. Wornor Depositions have always been an important tool of discovery, and like other discovery tools, you should think about your trial themes and strategies when deciding whom to depose and what to ask.
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On the Deposition Trail: Tips and Observations from a Young Lawyer
Matthew Moeller One of the most challenging aspects of being a young litigator is navigating the process of learning to take depositions properly to achieve the best possible result for your client.
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Rock Stars, Lies, and Videotape: Using Videoed Deposition Testimony at Trial
Christina L. Dixon and Jennifer K. Hohnstein The introduction of videoed deposition testimony at trial is increasingly common. Once it has been determined that deposition testimony is admissible, special permission is typically unnecessary to introduce video depositions.
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Effective Depositions, Second Edition
Henry L. Hecht Effective Depositions is a comprehensive, practical guide through every stage of the deposition process.
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The Litigation Manual: Depositions
Priscilla Anne Schwab, Lawrence J. Vilardo, Editors

This addition to The Litigation Manual library focuses on depositions. The book includes the most useful articles on depositions from Litigation journal, taking you through the steps of an effective deposition. It covers the preparation before the deposition; what happens at the table; techniques and strategies; and special cases you may encounter.
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Sound Advice shares the experience and collective wisdom of some of finest legal minds in the world. Easy access to such a vast collection of knowledge will be useful and enjoyable. Sound Advice helps you become a better lawyer. Listen. Learn. Improve. Access our entire Sound Advice library.


Keys to Conducting A Winning Deposition
Listen to Ronald Jay Cohen, former Chair of the ABA Section of Litigation and founding partner of the Phoenix law firm of Cohen Kennedy Dowd & Quigley, as he highlights the 10 keys that will lay the foundation for a successful deposition. Listen


How to Take a Deposition—Execution
"A deposition is not the place to wow everyone with your brilliance; depositions are about slowly accumulating information." This Section of Litigation podcast by Kenneth P. Nolan offers practical and insightful tips on the best way to take a deposition. Listen


Online Resources for Researching Expert Witnesses
Expert witnesses are vital to all litigators. Listen as David Dilenschneider explains how to use the Internet to learn about potential experts—both yours and your opponent’s. Listen




New Standards for Expert-Witness Disclosures - Thomas P. Branigan and Tina Georgieva
Federal Rule of Evidence 702 governs the admission of expert testimony.
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Ethical Preparation of Witnesses for Deposition and Trial - Erin C. Asborno
James Fenimore Cooper originated the phrase "horse-shedding the witness," referring to attorneys who lingered in carriage sheds near the old courthouse in White Plains, New York, to rehearse their witnesses.
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Working With the Seven-Hour Time Limit for Depositions in Federal Court - Yasser Madriz and Ben Allen
So you find yourself involved in a complex civil suit, your opponent designates the same witness as both their Rule 30(b)(6) corporate representative and a fact witness, and the seven hours provided under Rule 30(d)(1) to depose her seem woefully inadequate.
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Corporate Counsel   Join  •  About  •  News and Analysis


Expert Witnesses  Join  •  About  •  News and Analysis


Mass Torts Litigation  Join  •  About  •  News and Analysis




February 7, 2014
Legal Risks Presented by the Rogue Employee
Pepper Hamilton, Philadelphia, PA


Feb. 9–Feb. 10, 2014
ABA Midyear Meeting
Hyatt Regency, Chicago, IL


February 11, 2014
WEBINAR: Blogs and Blogging for the Litigator


February 13–16, 2014
Corporate Counsel CLE Seminar
The Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa, Rancho Mirage, CA


February 20, 2014
WEBINAR: Essentials of Preparing a Lay Witness for a Deposition


March 5–8, 2014
Insurance Coverage Litigation CLE Seminar
Loews Ventana Canyon, Tucson, AZ


April 9–11, 2014
Section Annual Conference
The Phoenician Resort, Scottsdale, AZ


April 9, 2014
Anatomy of a Trial: The Trial of Wyatt Earp at Section Annual Conference
The Phoenician Resort, Scottsdale, AZ




videoFive Commandments for Deposition Witnesses – Gene Vance, Lexington, KY
Gene Vance shares the tip he learned 20 years ago as a young lawyer, the five commandments of giving a deposition.  These are useful for lay witnesses in particular, but for any witness that needs a refresher on how to give a testimony during a deposition.
Watch the Video


videoDeposing Experts with Daubert in mind – Joan Archer, Kansas City, MO
Joan Archer deposition insight relates to how to go into an expert deposition with the right tools and attitude to succeed in making a deposition work for the purpose of a Daubert Motion. With a solid strategy you may be fortunate enough to never reach the trial phase in the case.
Watch the Video


videoThe Power of Silence in Depositions – Steve Weiss, Chicago, IL
Steve Weiss understands the “power of silence”. Learn how you can use the fact that witnesses and deponents generally abhor silence to your advantage in a case.
Watch the Video


To view more Trial Advocacy Tips, visit the Section of Litigation YouTube Channel.




Committee Roundtables are a FREE member benefit that allow you to call in from anywhere to hear live programs on a host of topics, such as the ramifications of a recent court case or legislation, developing a new practice area, trial tips, Q&A with a judge, creating personal marketing plans, coping with difficult opposing counsel, and balancing professional and personal life. Learn More



Presented by the Commercial & Business Litigation Committee

Tuesday, February 4, 2014, at 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. Eastern

This Roundtable will focus on current litigation issues stemming from shareholder activism and activist investing. Register Now