Posts tagged deposition
How Not to Depose 54 Defense Expert Witnesses

We are running out of time. As we march towards trial too many depositions remain to be taken. We ask the four defendants to narrow their list of experts. They do no such thing. They ignore us. We ask for their experts’ opinions. The defendants tell us they won’t have them until after their experts review all of our experts’ opinions and depositions.

There is no way we are going to take 54 defense expert witness depositions. Why should we.

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Gentle deposition sparring

Setting:  We are in a downtown Seattle conference room.  The sky is deep blue.  The sun is shining.  Its rays bounce like mirrors off the skyscrapers and rippling waterways below us.  Eric the videographer is at the far end of the table.  Jane the court reporter is her usual excellent self.  Cheryl our medical negligence paralegal is by my side.  Across the table are the defense lawyers.  In front of a gray screen sits the witness.  The defense side is somber.  I am feisty. We are about an hour an a half into the deposition.

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If at first you don't succeed... moving to stop improper deposition objections

Ms. A (she of the 257 objections ) is defending another deposition.  This time of an electrical expert.  Her stream of objections has not changed course since Mr. T's deposition.

I challenge her on the record.  This is to satisfy CR 26i should I decide to bring a motion:

K3:  What's wrong with the form?  I think you're being abusive with the objections.

A:  You're not setting a foundation, you're just saying -- you're making conclusory statements and then asking him about it.  He has nothing to say that --

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Is it improper to object 257 times in a deposition.

The Tale of Mr. T has one more chapter.  Following part 2 of his deposition, I am on a seminar panel for AAJ in Montreal along with Federal Judge Bennett.   He is talking about his now famous order sanctioning a national defense firm for deposition abuse.  His speech is exceptional.  He urges us to not be content with the minimum bar set by court rules .  To strive for a higher ethical standard.  He is inspirational on so many levels.

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Jane the Court Reporter

I met Allison when I was a defense lawyer.  She was so darling that she became my go-to court reporter.  When I became a plaintiff lawyer, nothing changed.  I still used Allison.  Others liked her as well, so Allison grew her business (Verb8tim Reporting) and hired Jane.

Yesterday, Allison was the court reporter for me.  This morning it's Jane's turn.

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The Woodpecker and another tale of betrayal

Someone is knocking on the door.  Nala starts barking.  Reach over for phone.  It is 6:30 a.m.  The knocking continues.  Realize it isn't knocking.

Jump out of bed.  Rush to the balcony door.  Throw it open.   There's a flurry of beautiful brown and orange red wings.  The woodpecker flies onto the 45 year old maple tree.  Looks back at me over his shoulder.  And takes off.

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If at first you don't succeed...The Tale of Mr. T part 2

The movie gift that just keeps giving - is the showdown between Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men.  That moment on the witness stand when Jack defiantly declares his magnificence.  Gets up to leave.  And Tom says - sit back down.  And Jack has to.  Because he's in court.

Mr. T, as you may recall , gave a rather similar performance in deposition last month.   And then some.  Because no judge was present.

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Mr. T - a deposition tale

5:45 am.  Phone beeps.  Count backward down to the minute have to get up to get out on time.  5:56 am get up.

Race through morning ritual.  Clothes put out the night before.  Black crop jeans.  Black t-shirt.  Deconstructed BCBG black and gray striped jacket.  Black doc martens.  2 black bags.  Black raincoat.  Slick back hair that used to be black and now in places looks like tinsel.  Grab 2 luna bars, fat sumo orange and honey crisp apple for later.

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Part 3: Depositions of treating providers in a medical negligence case resulting in bilateral leg amputations.

One of the hospital’s defenses was that it was a small community hospital.  It did not have all the fancy equipment of a major urban hospital.   The problem with this defense was that the hospital didn’t need an expensive machine to make the correct diagnosis.  All it needed, was for someone to: a) notice the red flags; and b) pull a hand held doppler unit out of a cupboard.

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Part 1: Depositions of treating providers in a bilateral leg amputation medical negligence case

Am at a hospital.  Sitting on one side of a long table in a cafeteria.    With me is my partner Paul Whelan and paralegal Cheryl Baldwin.  Paul  has been handling medical negligence cases since I was in grade school.  He is my Yoda.  Cheryl screened this case and knows everything that I need to know.   Between the two of them, I'm covered.

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Some defense lawyers can't be friends too...

Last week something unpleasant happened.

I lost a friend.  Not a great one.  But a friend nonetheless.

I met him when he was still a law student and was one of his mentors.  He clerked for our firm.   Then a bit later he worked with us for a year.  He stayed in our building after that, working for another lawyer who was renting an office from us.  We kept in touch.   His boss moved his office.  And we wished them well.  A bit later,  I heard  he had quit and decided to take a job with a defense firm.  No shame in that.  You gotta do what you gotta do.

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Preparing for Deposition: Oh. And by the way, he's a white supremacist too...

John, Anne and I are a Toulouse Petite.  Having our staffing meeting while eating breakfast.

A:  Do we need to do anything else to take X's deposition.  We have the court order.  The Assistant Attorney General says he doesn't think X will agree to say anything.

K3:   We could issue a subpoena and have him served.  But he's already in prison.

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How to tell when you're in deposition hell

Am in Portland.  In yet another hotel.  Listening to myself breathe.  And the fan on the bad heater blow.  No kids.  No Nala. No running down to the refrigerator for a midnight snack.  Just stuck in this room.  Preparing for another day of deposition.

After making ballpark guesses, give in.  Pull up the transcripts and count the number of depositions that have been taken in this case.  It's over 40.  And we're still not done.

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Deposition or Dim Sum - A trial lawyer's adventures in San Francisco

Wake up at 4:15 am.  Didn't mean to.  Go back to sleep.  Wake up 4:45.  No.  No.  No.  Close eyes.  Alarm rings 5:00.  Slide out of bed. It is still dark out.  Grope way to closet.  Throw on Gray pants with little white polka dots.  Flats.  Soft sweater.  Gray coat.  Do ministrations.  Zip up already packed suitcase.  Hidden in closet because Nala has grown to hate it.  She knows what it means.  Lap top in carry on.  Ipad in purse.  Liquids and gels in year old ziplock.  Fold up beats headphones Debbie got me.  Blanket.  Extension cord.  Luna bars. Orange,  Check off list in head.

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On the matter of freedom of speech and very thin skin: a twitter tale

The defense lawyer notes the deposition of one of our experts.  It is at the end of a work day.   So I elect to attend by telephone.  This turns out to be a wise decision.  Because the court reporter does not show up.  Another court reporter has to rush over.  This takes 40 minutes.

I pretty much do not complain.  Or rub this in the defense lawyer's face since his office arranged everything.

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