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Why most defense attorneys don't know what questions to ask at an injured victims' deposition



A deposition is a question and answer session given under oath. This is a requirement when you bring a lawsuit. The attorney who represents the person you have sued, known as a defense attorney, has an opportunity to question you.

Depending upon the type and complexity of the case involved, the defense law firm will usually send their most junior associate to question an injured victim. That associate attorney will usually come prepared to the deposition with a stack of typed, prepared questions.

They do this for two reasons.

One, to make sure they ask every question under the sun to preserve it for trial testimony.

Two, they do it to allow the associate attorney to get experience questioning a witness. Most defense firms do not allow their junior associates to try cases. They are not experienced enough to do so.

Questioning an injured victim is a great opportunity for a defense lawyer to get their feet wet and learn what questions to ask and what not to ask.

The problem with that approach is that an inexperienced defense attorney will ask many questions having nothing to do with the key issues in the case. That means frustration for the injured victim as well as for the plaintiff's attorney who represents the injured victim. It means a lot of time is wasted instead of focusing on the key issues in the case.

Unfortunately, there is not much we can do to prevent this.

On occasion, one of the trial partners will participate in the question-and-answer session, which makes it much more enjoyable since the trial attorney knows what questions are important, and which ones are not.

That is why we tell our clients that when they come to their deposition, that they should prepare to be there all day since most of the defense attorneys will ask every question possible even though it does not bear any relation to the key issues in the case.