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When I was sent out to attend my first deposition, I had a general idea of how everything was supposed to proceed.  Unfortunately, I was immediately knocked off my game when prior to the commencement of the deposition all the lawyers agreed to the “usual stipulations.” Not wanting to look like an inexperienced newbie, I agreed.  I was also afraid to ask anyone in my office as to what the usual stipulations were let alone whether or not I did the right thing in stipulating.  It took me many depositions later to confidently demand that I wanted the stipulations on the record.  I didn’t make the request because it was the right thing to do, it was because I could finally learn what the usual stipulations were.

On her CEB Blog, Julie Brook does a wonderful job explaining what are the usual stipulations and whether or not you should stipulate.  Julie points out that the Code of Civil Procedure covers many of the usual stipulations, so there is no need to stipulate.  She also advises that you should never stipulate without putting the specific stipulations on the record.  And, finally, she outlines the stipulations that you should consider.

Even if you are not a young lawyer, I highly recommend that you read her blog titled “So Stipulated” before you go to your next deposition.

Stopwatch 

On Monday, September 17, 2012, Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill 1875 which will limit depositions to one seven (7) hour day.  This law conforms with the federal rules and becomes effective on January 1, 2013.  The enactment of the legislation will add Section 2025.290 to the Code of Civil Procedure which will read as follows:   Continue Reading GOVERNOR BROWN SIGNS BILL LIMITING DEPOSITIONS TO SEVEN HOURS:

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 California Code of Civil Procedure §2025.290 (effective January 1, 2013) limits Non-Expert Depositions to 7 hours.  The section reads:

Unless otherwise stipulated to or ordered by the court, a deposition is limited to one day of seven hours. The court shall allow additional time if needed to fairly examine the deponent or if the deponent, another person, or any other circumstance impedes or delays the examination.       Continue Reading Can You Take a Deposition in Seven Hours?

Confence call.JPGRan across this helpful blog for taking telephonic depositions by Kramm Court Reporters that I wanted to share with you.

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Everyone is looking for opportunities to save costs these days in litigation. Many attorneys are choosing to take depositions telephonically so as to incur travel costs and to save travel time. Here are some ideas on how to make the telephonic deposition go smoothly.

Continue Reading Tips and Tricks for Taking Telephonic Depositions

Impeaching Attorney.jpgThe third in a series of four blogs from George Ellard from The Veen Firm on how to cross-examine a witness to impair their credibility.

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Impeachment by character evidence is the use of a personal trait to impair credibility. There are essentially four methods to impeach using character evidence: defects in perception, defects in recollection, felony convictions and past misconduct.

Continue Reading Impeaching the Witness with Character Evidence

Cross Examine Women.jpgThe second of four blogs on how to cross-examine a witness to impair their credibility from George Ellard  of the The Veen Firm.

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Perhaps the most effective and most frequently used form of impairing credibility is proof of a statement or conduct by the witness that is inconsistent with the trial testimony. (Ev. C. § 780(h) (pdf)) The inconsistency need not be a complete contradiction. The test is whether the prior statement is inconsistent in effect with the trial testimony. People v. Spencer (1969) 71 Cal.2d 933 (pdf), 941.

 

Continue Reading Using Prior Inconsistent Statements and Conduct

Witness taking oath.jpgGeorge Ellard from The Veen Firm brings the first of four blogs on how to cross-examine a witness to impair their credibility.   

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Cross-examination goals essentially boil down to 1) developing facts which support your case, 2) harm the defense case and 3) impair credibility. You must carefully analyze the first two goals before you decide to impair the credibility of a witness.

Continue Reading Cross-Examination to Impair Witness Credibility

Objecting male attorney.jpgIn the spirit of my most recent blog, “OBJECTION!! There’s this case that says . . . “, here is a list of proper and improper objections to deposition questions that you should also keep in the back of your legal pad.  

OBJECTIONS TO DEPOSITION QUESTIONS

Objections to the form of questions are waived if not raised at the deposition. Weil and Brown, Cal Prac. Guide: Civil Procedure Before Trial (TRG 2010) ¶8:721 (citing C.C.P. §2025.460 (pdf)(b)). 

Instructing witness not to answer is improper unless objecting on grounds of privilege. CCP §2025.460 (pdf)Stewart v. Colonial Western Agency, Inc.(2001) 87 CA4th 1006 (pdf), 10015.

Speaking objections which counsel explains his rationale for the objection is improper as it is usually used as a tactic to give the deponent a heads up that the area of questioning is dangerous and how he should answer.  This is a form of “coaching” the witness and a protective order may need to be sought.  See CEB, California Civil Discovery Practice (4th ed. 2010) §6:100. 

Continue Reading DEPOSITONS–What are the Real Objections?