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March 01, 2002  |   Comments (0)   |   Post a comment

How to Prepare for a Deposition

Know your facts, but don’t say too much


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At the annual Transporting Students With Disabilities conference in Fort Worth, Texas, Linda Bluth of the Maryland State Department of Education, Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services, discussed how to prepare for and handle yourself at a deposition (a question-and-answer session in which the attorneys of both parties are present and involved in examination and cross-examination of the witness). The following are answers to common questions: What should I wear to a deposition and how do I behave? • Your appearance should reflect your professional status • Be courteous How do I prepare for a deposition? • Do not bring handwritten notes • Organize your material so that your information is in chronological order • Know your facts • Listen closely to each question • Take your time before answering a question What should I say and not say? • Be aware of leading questions and repetitive questions. These are designed to put you on the defensive • Do not lose your composure • Do not volunteer information • If you don’t know the answer, respond, “I don’t know.” • Never speculate How do I compete with an expert witness? • Be familiar with the position of national organizations • Review articles by the expert witness • Review articles written in the field on the subject • Share with your lawyers articles that support your position.

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