Defense deposition tactic - chopping off answers

The defense attorney isn't getting anywhere with this expert witness.  So he tries a new tactic - cutting off the answers.  It may seem obvious when you are there in the room.  But if you don't do anything, the actual deposition transcript won't be so clear.   Then at trial, the defense will use the misleading transcript to impeach the witness.

To stop this, the plaintiff attorney nees to speak up and speak often to make sure the record stays honest.  Here is an example:

13        Q    Okay.  Now, can you rule out that the band in

14    this case was not contaminated?

15        A    Can I rule it out?

16        Q    Yeah.

17        A    No.  I think that the likelihood that the band

18    is contaminated is far lower than an intraoperative

19    misadventure.

20        Q    Okay.  I'm going to move to strike the last part

21    of your answer as not being responsive to the question.

22             MS. KOEHLER:  It was responsive.

23             MR. FREISE:  No, it was not.

24        Q    Well, let me ask it again then.

25             Can you rule out that the band that used for

24

 

1    Mr. W was not contaminated prior to its insertion in

2    Mr. W?

3        A    I cannot rule it out.

4        Q    All right.  Thank you.

5             MS. KOEHLER:  No.  He's still talking.

6             MR. FREISE:  That's all the question asked for.

7             MS. KOEHLER:  No.  He was -- he was breathing.

8             MR. FREISE:  No.  He's busy trying to argue --

9             MS. KOEHLER:  No.  No.

10             MR. FREISE:  -- and he's not entitled to argue.

11             MS. KOEHLER:  He's entitled to finish his

12    answer, and if you want, you can move to strike it again.

13             MR. FREISE:  Well, I got the answer that the

14    question asked for.

15             MS. KOEHLER:  He was breathing, and you just

16    walked right over it.

17             MR. FREISE:  All right.

18        Q    So --

19             MS. KOEHLER:  I'll ask it later.

20             MR. FREISE:  That's fine.

21             MS. KOEHLER:  But that's what happened.

In this case, no blows were exchanged.  Both attorneys smiled as they spoke.  And the record remained clear.