2012 Winter Newsletter - Checklist for Attorneys

Preparing an Expert Witness for Deposition

by Lawrence J. West
Johnson, Trent, West & Taylor, LLP


Have you ever presented an expert witness for deposition and his/her performance was less than ideal?  If the answer to this question is “yes”, then perhaps a checklist of items would be helpful in preparing your expert. As the old saying goes: “There are no poor witnesses, only poorly prepared ones.”  To assist you during your depo prep session, below is a checklist of items to cover with your expert witness.


1. Update Your Resume Prior to the Depo


2. Organize File and Know Your Report


3. Know Previous Testimony


4. During the Depo Prep Session Leave Time for a Mock Cross Examination


5. Depo Transcript and Video Will Be Used At Trial


6. Answer the Question Fully But Do Not Expand


7. Opposing Counsel Will Summarize Testimony


8. You Control the Pace of the Depo and Timing of Breaks


9.  Do Not Speed Up the Cadence of Your Answers. 


10. Look Out for the Malignant Statement Followed by the Benign Question.


11. When Asked About Critical Opinions, Do Not Use Weasel Words


12. Do Not Be Afraid to Admit You Met With the Attorney That Hired You


13. Tell the Truth 

14. Opposing Counsel’s Agenda During Depo

15. Avoid Nervous Ticks


At Johnson Trent we believe that a successful legal practice is measured by the outcomes we achieve for our clients. Respecting your needs and understanding your business are at the heart of what we do. Building upon that history of personal service, we draw from extensive courtroom experience and outstanding litigation resources to get the job done - with common sense, creativity and integrity.

Inquiries on this website, electronic mail or other communication to Johnson, Trent & Taylor, LLP (or any of its attorneys, staff, employees, agents or representatives) may not be treated as privileged or confidential and will not, and should not be construed to, create an attorney-client relationship between Johnson, Trent & Taylor, LLP and you or anyone else, except to the extent a partner of Johnson, Trent & Taylor, LLP expressly and explicitly agrees in writing to undertake an attorney-client relationship.