tricks lawyers use in depositions

Tricks Lawyers Use in Depositions: Tips to Prepare Yourself

Tricks lawyers use in depositions are an essential part of the legal process, where attorneys gather information from witnesses or parties in a case. They can be stressful and overwhelming, especially if you are not familiar with the process. Lawyers often use various tactics to extract information, and it’s crucial to be aware of these tricks to protect your rights and interests.

In this article, we’ll explore the tricks lawyers use in depositions and provide you with tips to prepare yourself.

What is a Deposition?

A deposition is a pre-trial legal proceeding where parties to a lawsuit obtain sworn testimony from witnesses or parties to the case. Depositions usually take place in an attorney’s office, and the person giving testimony is under oath and subject to penalty of perjury.

Why are Depositions Important?

Tricks lawyers use in depositionss are critical to the discovery process, which is the fact-finding stage of a lawsuit. They allow attorneys to obtain information and evidence before trial, including witness statements, admissions, and inconsistencies in testimony. Depositions also help attorneys evaluate the strength of their case and the credibility of witnesses.

tricks lawyers use in depositions
tricks lawyers use in depositions

Tricks Lawyers Use in Depositions

Lawyers use various tactics to elicit information and control the deposition process. Here are some of the most common tricks lawyers use in depositions:

1. Asking Open-Ended Questions

Open-ended questions are questions that require more than a yes or no answer. Lawyers use open-ended questions to get more information and keep you talking. For example, “Can you tell me what happened?” or “How did you feel about that?”

2. Using Silence

Silence can be uncomfortable, and lawyers use it to make you feel the need to fill the void. They may pause after you answer a question, hoping you will say more or reveal additional information.

3. Asking Leading Questions

Leading questions are questions that suggest the answer or contain information that prompts a particular response. For example, “Isn’t it true that you were at the scene of the accident?” or “You were drinking that night, weren’t you?”

4. Asking Compound Questions

Compound questions are questions that ask multiple questions at once. Lawyers use compound questions to confuse or distract you. For example, “Did you see the car and the truck before or after the accident?”

5. Repeating Questions

Lawyers may repeat questions to get a different answer or to see if your answers are consistent. They may also repeat questions to emphasize a point.

6. Asking for Details

Lawyers may ask for specific details or examples to clarify your statements. They may ask for dates, times, locations, or other specific information to test your memory and consistency.

7. Appearing Friendly

Lawyers may try to appear friendly or sympathetic to make you feel comfortable and lower your guard. They may use a friendly tone of voice, make small talk, or offer you refreshments.

8. Using Body Language

Lawyers use body language to communicate non-verbally and to influence your behavior. They may nod, shake their head, frown, or smile to convey approval or disapproval.

9. Asking the Same Question in Different Ways

Lawyers may ask the same question in different ways to see if your answers are consistent. They may also ask the same question several times to test your memory or to wear you down.

10. Challenging Your Credibility

Lawyers may challenge your credibility by questioning your character, motives, or memory. They may ask about prior convictions, conflicts of interest, or other issues to undermine your credibility.

11. Using Hypothetical Scenarios

Lawyers may use hypothetical scenarios to test your knowledge, opinions, or judgment. They may ask you to imagine a situation and provide a response, even if it’s not relevant to the case.

12. Interrupting You

Lawyers may interrupt you to prevent you from finishing your sentence or to redirect the conversation. They may also interrupt you to break your train of thought or to make you feel flustered.

13. Intimidating or Bullying You

Lawyers may use intimidation or bullying tactics to coerce you into saying something you don’t mean to say. They may raise their voice, make threats, or use aggressive body language to intimidate you.

14. Misrepresenting Facts

Lawyers may misrepresent facts or evidence to mislead you or to test your knowledge. They may make false statements or exaggerate the facts to see if you correct them.

15. Trapping You into Saying Something You Didn’t Mean to Say

Lawyers may try to trap you into saying something you didn’t mean to say by using clever wordplay or asking confusing questions. They may also use your own words against you by taking them out of context. tricks lawyers use in depositions

tricks lawyers use in depositions
tricks lawyers use in depositions

How to Prepare for a Deposition

Now that you know the tricks lawyers use in depositions, here are some tips to prepare yourself:

1. Meet with Your Lawyer

Your lawyer can help you prepare for the deposition by reviewing the facts of the case, explaining the process, and providing guidance on how to answer questions. Make sure you meet with your lawyer before the deposition to discuss your strategy.

2. Review Documents and Facts

Review any documents or evidence related to the case before the deposition, including police reports, medical records, and witness statements. Refresh your memory about the facts of the case and be prepared to answer questions about them.

3. Practice with a Mock Deposition

Ask your lawyer to conduct a mock deposition to help you prepare for the real thing. This will give you an opportunity to practice answering questions, learn how to handle tricky questions, and build your confidence.

4. Stay Calm and Focused

During the deposition, stay calm and focused. Listen carefully to the questions, take your time to answer, and don’t let the lawyer rush you. If you don’t know the answer to a question, say so.

5. Dress Appropriately and Arrive Early

Dress appropriately for the deposition, as if you were going to court. Arrive early to allow time for unexpected delays, and to give yourself time to relax and compose yourself before the deposition.

6. Speak Clearly and Confidently

Speak clearly and confidently during the deposition. Don’t mumble or speak too fast. Take your time to formulate your answers and be concise.

7. Be Honest and Consistent

Be honest and consistent in your answers. Don’t lie or exaggerate the facts, as this can undermine your credibility. If you’re not sure about something, say so, but don’t guess or speculate.

8. Don’t Argue or Get Defensive

Don’t argue or get defensive during the deposition. Stay calm and professional, even if the lawyer is aggressive or confrontational. Don’t let the lawyer bait you into an argument or lose your temper.

9. Take Breaks if Needed

If you feel overwhelmed or need a break during the deposition, ask for one. Don’t be afraid to take a few minutes to collect your thoughts or to confer with your lawyer.

10. Review Your Transcript

After the deposition, review your transcript carefully to make sure it’s accurate and complete. If you find any errors or omissions, notify your lawyer immediately. Tricks lawyers use in depositions


Tricks lawyers use in depositions can be intimidating, but by knowing the tricks lawyers use in depositions and by preparing yourself properly, you can minimize their impact and protect your rights. Remember to stay calm, focused, and honest, and to consult with your lawyer if you have any questions or concerns.

FAQs Tricks lawyers use in depositions

  1. Can a lawyer ask me anything during a deposition?

A: No, lawyers are limited to asking questions related to the case and cannot ask questions that are overly intrusive or irrelevant.

  1. Do I have to answer a question if I don’t know the answer?

A: No, it’s better to say you don’t know the answer than to guess or speculate.

  1. Can I bring a witness or a friend to the deposition?

A: No, only the parties involved in the case and their lawyers are allowed to attend the deposition.

  1. Can a lawyer use information from a deposition in court?

A: Yes, information obtained during a deposition can be used as evidence in court.

  1. How long does a deposition usually last?

A: Depositions can vary in length, but they typically last a few hours to a full day depending on the complexity of the case.

tricks lawyers use in depositions

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