Great Adverse Depositions:
Principles & Principal Techniques

(In-house Presentations & Live Webinars)

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 program wastes no time on entry-level wisdom, code chatter, idiosyncratic war stories, or tired maxims. (That 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.)

Principal Discussion & Teaching Points:

  • Civil Litigation §101: Best Case Theory
  • “Battleships”: the indispensable checklist of recurring Q&A
  • Four nearly-everybody-agrees deposition rules
  • “Grand Unified Theory” of deposition cross-examination
  • Discovery depositions vs. evidentiary depositions
  • “Whack!” defined & demonstrated
  • Seven advantages: deposition cross-examiner vs. trial cross-examiner
  • When to ask leading questions in deposition … or at trial deposition
  • Exceptions to the leading question rule
  • Getting every adverse deponent to “yes” on every important Q
  • Cross-examination decision-tree:
    • lead to lie … when the truth is not nearly enough
    • lead to truth … bluffing deponent
  • Using rhetoric to intensify arguments & magnify risks
  • Right technique & right logic vs. wrong! x 100s of Qs
  • “Every” cross-examiner’s chief flaw re taking an adverse deposition
  • An amateur cross-examiner using rhetoric right!
  • Firewalling
    • Interrogatory-like Qs
    • Universal terms & nail-down terms
    • Enumeration
    • Looping
  • Identifying a mediocre deposition in only 60 seconds
  • Making the implied express: using lexicography
  • Making the implied express: using logic
  • The transfer of information rule
  • The most common dumb deposition Q
  • Deposition “Crap” defined
  • Attacking the narrow Q & Q-dodging with high school grammar
  • Attacking 2 answers in 1 Q
  • Attacking the needle & the haystack answer
  • Additional wisdom re saving impeachment evidence for surprise at trial
  • Conducting interviews vs. taking great adverse depositions
  • Coda