You've brought a lawsuit.

For medical malpractice.

Six months after you start your lawsuit here in New York, the defense wants to question you.

It's really pretrial testimony.

It's called a deposition.

Some attorneys call it an examination before trial. For shorthand, they say it's an 'EBT'.

It carries the same weight as if you're testifying at trial.

Except there's no judge in the office where this will take place.

There's no jury either.

There is a court reporter present however.

To take down and record all of the questions you're asked and all the answers you give.

Many young inexperienced defense lawyers have a prepared script ready to read verbatim.

It's an instruction sheet.

"Mrs. Jones, I'm going to be asking you a series of questions about what happened to you. If you don't understand my question, let me know and I'll ask a new question. If you need to take a break, let me know and we'll take a break.

If your attorney objects, do not answer the question until the lawyers have resolved their dispute.

The defense lawyer will often continue with these preliminary instructions.

Once in a while, I get fed up with these crappy comments.

My client has already been prepped for what to expect.

She knows what the defense lawyer is there to do.

She knows what questions he is likely to ask.

She knows that if she needs to take a break, she needs only ask.

She knows that if she doesn't know the answer to simply say "I don't know."

Some defense lawyers think we don't prep our witnesses for what to expect.

Some defense lawyers think they'll get yelled at if they don't recite these instructions.

Some defense lawyers think if it's written down it must be read to the witness.

This is frustrating.

This is annoying.

Their reading of a script is a waste of time.

Also, by objecting to this nonsense, it creates a 'pattern interrupt' that alters the attorney's flow and gets them off balance.

It also sets the tone by letting them know I won't tolerate nonsense.

To learn even more, I invite you to watch the quick video below...



Gerry Oginski
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NY Medical Malpractice & Personal Injury Trial Lawyer