How to Prepare for a Deposition

Posted on March 1, 2002
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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