Every litigator at some point must deal with so-called speaking objections of opposing counsel during a deposition. These are statements that go beyond just stating the objection or the basis for the objection and are intended—or at least suspected of being intended—to coach the witness and impede the deposing attorney’s discovery. In most cases, a polite request to refrain from speaking objections is sufficient to convince opposing counsel to moderate his or her conduct. But in extreme cases, the deposition can be materially affected and can lead to a request for (and an award of) sanctions.
In Biax Corp. v. NVIDIA Corp., 09-cv-01257 (D. Colo. Jan. 7, 2011) (unreported), the defense brought a motion to strike the declaration of a witness in support of the plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment, arguing that at the witness’s deposition, the plaintiff’s counsel had “openly coached his witness, made long speaking objections, and instructed the witness not to answer a question even when there was no privilege objection.” The plaintiff responded that all he did was “object to objectionable questions.”