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
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
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.