Deposition fight - standing up for your client


In this deposition, the defense attorney accuses me of being unprofessional.   So what do you think.  Was it okay for me to stand up to my client.  Or should I have let him continue down his path without interfering.  You be the judge.

14   Q     Then what other treatment did you have following that?
15   A     I went to the knee specialist at The  Clinic.
16   Q     Who did you see at The  Clinic?
17   A     There was two different doctors.
18                  MS. KOEHLER:  Why does the knee even matter?  She's
19         not claiming that either accident caused the knee injury.
20   Q     You can go ahead and answer.
21                  MS. KOEHLER:  We'll get you the records.
22   A     Yeah, you can just get the records.
23   Q     I'd like to know where you went for treatment.
24   A     The  Clinic.
25   Q     All right.  And do you recall the names of the physicians
1         there?
2   A     I don't.
3   Q     And then what other treatment did you have other than the
4         hospital?
5                  MS. KOEHLER:  Objection; irrelevant.
6                  MR. B:  That's not a proper objection.  You
7         can object to form.
8                  MS. KOEHLER:  Objection; form, irrelevant.
9   Q     You can go ahead.
10   A     It was just the knee.
11   Q     What's that?
12   A     Just the knee.
13   Q     Just the knee?  I don't understand.
14   A     I guess I don't understand your question.
15   Q     My question's not that difficult.  What treatment did you
16         have other than The E Clinic and the walk-in clinic
17         and P Hospital?
18   A     For my knee injury.
19                  MS. KOEHLER:  Wait.  Don't.  You don't need to
20         disrespect the witness.
21                  MR. B:  Excuse me?
22                  MS. KOEHLER:  By saying that your question's not
23         that difficult?
24                  MR. B:  I'm not disrespecting the witness.
25                  MS. KOEHLER:  That was very disrespectful.  Like,
1         Are you dense?  My question is not that difficult.
2   Q     My question is pretty clear.  What treatment did you have?
3         You don't understand that?
4                  MS. KOEHLER:  I don't know why you're getting so
5         agitated about the knee that's not even related.  We've been
6         going over another hour.  We can take a break as soon as
7         you're done with your line of questioning.  She's tying to
8         cooperate.
9                  MR. B:  You're the only one being
10         obstructionist.  I'm trying to get very basic information.
11                  MS. KOEHLER:  Be nice to her.
12                  MR. B:  What is relevant and what is not
13         relevant is not up to you to decide.
14                  MS. KOEHLER:  Like I said, be polite.  You're now
15         being very aggressive.  Be polite.  That's all I'm asking.
16         You're leaning over the table.  You're getting red in the
17         face.
18                  MR. B:  I've been right where I've been the
19         whole time.
20                  MS. KOEHLER:  Ask a question.  Find a good place to
21         stop.  We'll take a break.  We've been going an hour.
22   Q     Can you just answer the question, ma'am?  It's a very basic,
23         easy question.  What treatment other than the ones that
24         we've listed did you have for the right knee injury with
25         your dog?
1   A     The right knee injury with my dog is for my right knee with
2         injury with my dog.
3   Q     That's not my question.  Please listen carefully to the
4         question.
5             What other treatment have you had other than what we
6         just talked about for your knee?
7   A     For my knee related -- you're not asking me a question
8         that's very clear.
9                  MS. KOEHLER:  Right now maybe we've -- because
10         we've been yelling at each other, now we've maybe confused
11         the witness.
12                  MR. B:  I haven't been doing any yelling.
13         Can you read back the question, please?
14                       (Pending question read back.)
15                  MS. KOEHLER:  He just wants a list of your medical
16         treatment.
17                  THE WITNESS:  Medical treatment for my knee?
18                  MS. KOEHLER:  For your knee.  Any kind of medical
19         treatment you've had for your knee.

***  [Witness goes through her knee treatment for a couple minutes]

MR. B:  What kind of therapy, if any, do you think you are going to
13         need for your knee?
14                  MS. KOEHLER:  Object to the form.
15   A     I don't have any idea.
16   Q     There's been no discussion about that?
17   A     They've got to wait.
18   Q     Do you think you'll ever walk again?
19   A     These are really unrelevant (sic) questions to this whole
20         thing.
21   Q     Ma'am, can you just please answer my question?  It's
22         really --
23                  MS. KOEHLER:  Honestly?  Will you ever walk again?
24         Come on.  Let's go take a break.  I asked to take a break
25         four minutes ago.
1                  MR. B:  You asked when I was done with this
2         line of questioning, if I recall correctly, and I'm not done
3         with this line of questioning.
4                  MS. KOEHLER:  Asking her whether she's going to
5         walk again, that's really ridicules.
6                  MR. B:  Why?
7                  MS. KOEHLER:  Give me a break.
8                  MR. B:  Are you serious?
9                  MS. KOEHLER:  Are you serious?
10                  MR. B:  Yeah, I am serious.  She's got a
11         plate and screws in her knee.
12                  MS. KOEHLER:  Oh, my gosh.  Since when did that
13         prevent someone from walking again?
14                  MR. B:  Well, we haven't seen the records,
15         have we?
16                  MS. KOEHLER:  Oh, please.
17                  MR. B:  I've never seen anything like this.
18                  MS. KOEHLER:  I've never seen anybody act like
19         you're acting.  What has she done to you?
20                  MR. B:  Nothing.
21                  MS. KOEHLER:  I know.  Be nice to her.
22                  MR. B:  What's wrong with you, Counsel?
23                  MS. KOEHLER:  If you were asking a person that
24         actually had a spinal cord injury if they were ever going to
25         walk again --
1                  MR. B:  I'm going to move to strike Counsel's
2         comments from the records.  They're totally inappropriate,
3         they're irrelevant.
4                  MS. KOEHLER:  Just be polite to the witness and
5         finish your questioning.
6                  MR. B:  Excuse me, please.
7                  MS. KOEHLER:  Go.
8                  MR. B:  I don't want to be interrupted again.
9         If I'm going to be interrupted again I'm going to call the
10         judge.
11                  MS. KOEHLER:  Call the judge then.
12                  MR. B:  Please don't interrupt me.
13                  MS. KOEHLER:  Please call the judge if you feel you
14         need to.
15                  MR. B:  I will, but I'm asking you politely
16         not to interrupt me.
17                  MS. KOEHLER:  Then be polite.
18                  MR. B:  Nothing happened here until you got
19         involve.
20                  MS. KOEHLER:  I've been involved since day one.
21                  MR. B:  Until you got involved in the middle
22         of legitimate questioning when you all of a sudden decided
23         it wasn't good enough for you.
24                  MS. KOEHLER:  All right.
25                  MR. B:  So stop it and let me ask the
1         questions.
2                  MS. KOEHLER:  I can't wait until the next one.  Go
3         for it.  Continue.
4                  MR. B:  Thank you.
5                  So can you read back the last question, please?
6                       (Pending question read back.)
7   Q     And you said you don't know, is that right?
8   A     I hope so.
9   Q     And then she objected.  She didn't think it was a very good
10         question.
11   A     I don't think it is either.
12   Q     But you don't even know whether you can or not.  If it was
13         such an illegitimate question, why can't you answer it?
14   A     Well, I think that's really rude and hurtful, too.
15   Q     Well, you're suing my client for injuries.
16   A     Not for this knee.
17   Q     But you can't work and you're claiming lost wages, aren't
18         you?
19                  MS. KOEHLER:  We're not claiming lost wages for the
20         period of time -- we'll stipulate right here that she's off
21         of work for her knee.  We're not claiming any lost wages for
22         the period of time she's off of work for her knee.
23         Stipulate.
24                  MR. B:  We don't know when that is, do you
25         we?
1                  MS. KOEHLER:  I'm stipulating it right now.
2                  MR. B:  But we don't know how long a period
3         of time that is until I ask the question, do we?
4                  MS. KOEHLER:  Well, we'll know when the doctor says
5         she's out of a wheelchair and able to stand on her feet.
6                  MR. B:  And do you know when that is?
7                  MS. KOEHLER:  You are being so abusive right now.
8         Did you hear my stipulation?  I'm going to stipulate on the
9         record.
10                  My stipulation is:  We stipulate that the knee
11         injury caused by her dog was not caused by either motor
12         vehicle collision, number one.
13                  Number two, we stipulate that all of the medical
14         care rendered for her knee was not caused by either
15         collision.  We will not be making a claim for any damages
16         for that medical care financially or otherwise.
17                  Number three, the period of recuperation for her
18         knee that she's off of work we are not claiming as part of
19         the motor vehicle collision injuries.
20                  Number four, we're not claiming any pain and
21         suffering relating to her knee as a result of the injuries,
22         period.
23                  MR. B:  Up until what time?
24                  MS. KOEHLER:  I said the entire time that she has
25         the knee problem that's preventing her from working.
1                  MR. B:  And you can't tell me when that is;
2         right?
3                  MS. KOEHLER:  Let me see.  If I was God, maybe I
4         could.  I think that's a pretty good stipulation.
5                  MR. B:  It's an easy question, Counsel.  You
6         can't tell me what it is; is that right?
7                  MS. KOEHLER:  Can you tell us when it is?
8                  MR. B:  That's why I'm asking the question.
9                  MS. KOEHLER:  The doctor doesn't know yet.
10                  MR. B:  We just found that out, didn't we,
11         because I asked a good question.  Now, if I hadn't asked the
12         question, we wouldn't know.  I think we're making progress.
13                  THE WITNESS:  Can I take a break now?
14                  MR. B:  Yes.
15                  THE WITNESS:  Thank you.

Postscript:  After the deposition ended, B and I kissed and made up.