How to Prepare for Your Deposition: Basic Technique

Accident Lawyer in JacksonvilleWhen it comes to depositions, attorneys always have a goal in mind. Whether it’s your accident lawyer in Jacksonville questioning another witness or the opposing counsel questioning you, there is always a purpose to how they ask questions. Here are some things to keep in mind regarding attorney questions: • Open-ended questions are used by your accident lawyer in Jacksonville to get information from a witness; • Leading questions, on the other hand, might be used by your accident lawyer in Jacksonville to pin a witness down to a specific answer; • Either way, your accident attorney in Jacksonville will try to keep questions relatively short; and • Your accident lawyer in Jacksonville might also try to keep each question self-contained and not dependent on other questions. Sometimes even the best accident attorney in Jacksonville will begin to ask the wrong question or phrase a question incorrectly, requiring him to start over. If a lawyer begins to ask a question but changes his mind, he can tell the reporter to “strike that” and begin again. He can also ask the witness for permission to do so, so that the witness understands that a new question is beginning. Don’t Think You’re Smarter Than the Lawyer Some witnesses go into depositions thinking that they will outsmart the accident attorney in Jacksonville who is deposing them. Maybe they have seen TV shows and movies where this happens and the lawyer is caught completely off-guard and has to rest their case. However, deposition is neither the time nor the place for that. The reason for this is that the purpose of the deposition is different from questioning done at trial. At deposition, your accident lawyer in Jacksonville is just trying to get information about the case. He is interested in finding out what the witness knows, what the other side will try to claim as part of their defense and what the witness is willing to admit. This is different from cross-examination at trial where the lawyer is deliberately trying to push a witness toward a specific answer. This means that the witness will not have any chance to “outsmart” your accident lawyer in Jacksonville. Any attempts do so will likely just seem like the witness is evading, misleading or even lying. Lying during deposition is likely to be caught later because the discovery process will continue and your lawyer will be able to check everything the witness said. Don’t go into your deposition unprepared. Get help from an accident lawyer in Jacksonville. Call First Coast Accident Lawyers at 904-278-1000.

About John Fagan

John is a Jacksonville native who grew up on the First Coast. He graduated from Bishop Kenny High School in 1975 and went to college at Florida State University where he completed a 4-year program in 3 years. John graduated from the Florida State University College of Business in 1978 and went straight into Florida State University College of Law. While in law school, John earned a position on the prestigious Law Review Board serving as its Business Editor. As a law student, John studied in the Oxford program. He also interned with the Florida Legislature working in the Florida House of Representatives Criminal Justice Committee. John was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1981. John began his legal career as a law school intern in the State Attorney's Office in Jacksonville in 1981. After his internship, legendary State Attorney Ed Austin hired John as a full-time Assistant State Attorney for the Fourth Judicial Circuit (Clay, Duval, and Nassau Counties). As a prosecutor, John tried jury and non-jury trial on charges ranging from DUI to Murder. In 1983, John moved from the State Attorney's Office to begin his career in private practice. He has practiced law for 30 years on the First Coast. For the last 20 years, John and his family have made Clay County their home. John limits his practice to personal injury and disability cases. While there are many fine attorneys in Clay County, John is one of only a few Clay County attorneys who limit their practice to personal injury and disability cases. John takes pride in helping clients resolve injury claims in ways that avoid the stress, uncertainty, and the expense of unnecessary litigation. Professional Activities John is the past President of the Clay County Bar Association and has served on the Board of the Clay County Bar Association from 2009-2013. He is an active member of the Florida Bar, and the Federal Bar of the Middle and Southern Districts of Florida. He is also a member of the American Association of Justice, the Florida Association of Justice, the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives, and the National Organization of Veterans' Advocates. Service to the Community John is involved in the Clay County Community serving as a member and Director of the Rotary Club of Orange Park, of the Clay County Bar Association, and the Putnam County Bar Association.
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