Deposition question that needs to be retired
Am sitting next to our expert and the court reporter. On the other side of the table there are three defense lawyers. Two more are on the phone. We start at 2:00. At 2:35 throw my first fit. Here is why.
To comply with the subpoena, the expert has brought in every document he's been given and has relied upon. This equals a foot and a half stack of files. Dale the defense lawyer starts off asking if it is okay to copy everything and to return the files later. Permission granted.
Here's the part that drives me batty: He then has the expert go through every piece of paper and read aloud what it is: In this folder is the police report.. In this folder is the list of other incidents...and so on.
This is supposedly to create a record. Today it takes 45 minutes.
Midway through I say: why are you having him do this. He's given you permission to take and copy everything. What a waste of time.
Nick says: I don't think it's a waste of time.
I say: well you're the only one who doesn't.
Because what is the point.
Are you going to impeach the expert in the future based upon the list of documents that he read into the record. Are you going to learn something you don't already know. Are you doing anything dazzling or worthwhile at all. No. You. Are. Not.
Here are the reasons an attorney asks such a silly question:
- run up billable hours
- aggravate the witness
- tire out the witness
- buy more time to prepare questions
- learned to ask this question 30 years ago and can't break a bad habit
There's no need to ask a witness to itemize everything they are giving you to copy. Resist the urge.