2023 OFF Great Adverse Depositions: Principles & Principal Techniques – Archived

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Great Adverse Depositions:
Principles & Principal Techniques

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Taking high-quality adverse depositions is the most important teachable litigation skill. Taking a high-quality adverse deposition requires the conscientious application of an integrated set of logical cross-examination rules, the very set of rules that law schools should have offered to their third-years in a full-semester course, and litigation law firms should have taught their newbies (and their partners) … but never, ever did!  Thus mediocre adverse depositions abound, while high-quality ones are a rarity. This webinar wastes no time on entry-level wisdom, code chatter, idiosyncratic war stories, or tired maxims. (That kind of stuff is best “learned” at pricey, 3-day, hands-on programs.) Instead, using engaging video clips from high-profile cross-examinations, this program brilliantly – and efficiently – teaches how to take adverse depositions the right way: as an intellectually rigorous discipline. (See Reviews.)

This webinar has 5 parts/5 videos. Total viewing time: approx. 6.5 hours. The agenda for each part is set out below. A link to the written materials – a 70-page PDF – appears below each of the videos. To sample the quality of the videos – and the quality of the teaching – watch the webinar’s first 30 minutes in the below YouTube.

Webinar (all 5 parts): $0

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Major Dramatis Personæ:

David Boies, Bill Gates, Roy Black, Anne Mercer, “John Gibbons,” “Sam Tipton,” George Will, David Kendall, Mitt Romney, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Scott Pelley, John McCain, F. Lee Bailey, Mark Fuhrman, Carl Levin, Daniel Sparks, Wolf Blitzer, Rick Perry, Mark DiCowden, Justin Bieber, Gennifer Flowers, Kathleen Bell, Kenneth Starr, Solomon Wisenberg, Robert Bittman, Bill Clinton, Steve Kroft, George W. Bush, Jim Fisher, Robert Bennett, “Daniel Kaffee,” “Nathan R. Jessup,” & Chris Matthews

Minor Dramatis Personæ (many are very minor):

Vince Lombardi, Daniel Petrocelli, Isaac Newton, Euclid, Marc Galanter, Lance lto, William Kennedy-Smith, Ted Kennedy, Moira Lasch, “The Real Housewives of Miami,” Michelangelo Buonarroti, “The Magnificent Seven,” Walt Whitman, Sigmund Freud, Betty Curry, Linda Tripp, Ted Nugent, Homer, Marc Andreessen, Gerald Uelman, “The Ghost-Believers,” Aristotle, Samuel Johnson, Susan Weber Wright, Bill Richardson, Vernon Jordan, Steven Spielberg, Perry Mason, & Winston Churchill

Agenda for Part 1

  • Deposition cross-examination: an intellectually rigorous discipline
  • “Battleships”: the checklist of recurring lines of inquiry in same-kind-of-case adverse depositions
  • Four nearly-everybody-agrees deposition cross-examination rules
  • “Grand Unified Theory” of deposition cross-examination
  • The country’s #1 civil litigator deposing a brilliant adverse witness in a monumental case (the first of several video clips analyzed)
  • The can’t-be-beat argument vs. “the stupidest orthodoxy”: saving attacks for surprise at trial
  • “Whack!” defined & demonstrated in a high-profile trial cross-examination
  • Seven advantages: deposition cross-examiner vs. trial cross-examiner
  • The most important TEACHABLE aspect of civil litigation

Agenda for Part 2

  • “The Magnificent Seven” … key rules of deposition cross-examination
  • When to ask leading questions in deposition … or at trial
  • Exceptions to the leading question rule
  • When the truth is not nearly enough
  • Bluffing deponent into an damaging admission
  • 3 high-profile examples of deception (2 blue, 1 red)
  • Using rhetoric to intensify argument

Agenda for Part 3

  • Using rhetoric to intensify argument (continued)
  • “Every” cross-examiner’s chief flaw re taking an adverse deposition
  • Analysis of multiple video clips of America’s #1 civil litigator deposing that brilliant adverse witness in that monumental case
  • An amateur cross-examiner using rhetoric … and doing it right!
  • Firewalling introduced

Agenda for Part 4

  • Firewalling and “ghost believers”
  • Interrogatory-like questions
  • Universal terms and nail-down terms
  • A 3rd famous cross-examination analyzed
  • Enumeration
  • Looping
  • Identifying a mediocre deposition in only 60 seconds
  • Making the implied express: using lexicography
  • Making the implied express: using logic

Agenda for Part 5

  • The transfer of information rule
  • The most common dumb deposition question
  • Deposition “Crap” defined
  • Attacking the narrow question & question-dodging with high school grammar
  • Attacking 2 answers in 1 question
  • Attacking the needle and the haystack answer
  • Additional wisdom re saving impeachment evidence for surprise at trial
  • Conducting interviews vs. taking great adverse depositions
  • Coda