Taking and Defending Depositions: Strategic Tips and Techniques

Synopsis

Litigators know that the deposition is a crucial opportunity to learn about an adversary’s case, a valuable opportunity for discovery for your side of the case, and a way to gain information to use in a potential summary judgment motion or at trial. This course provides insightful tips on how to maximize your effectiveness at taking and defending a deposition. The panelists provide you with unique insights, including, but not limited to, practice tips, ethical issues, and the strategic considerations behind common deposition techniques.

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Outline

I. The Importance of Deposition
    A. Introductions
    B. Deposition Logistics
    C. It's Best to Be Accommodating
    D. Practical Tips for a Successful Deposition
        1. Know Your Case and Your Witness
        2. Initial Strategic Decisions
        3. Going Over Basics With Your Witness
        4. Reviewing Documents With Your Witness
        5. More Things to Review With Your Witness
        6. Understand the Federal and State Rules
        7. Expert Witnesses
    E. Objections
        1. State and Federal Guidelines
        2. Typical Objections
        3. Inappropriate Objections
    F. Deposition Day
    G. Deposition Is Done, Now What?
         1. Set Goals
         2. Preparation is Key
         3. Proper Conduct
         4. Set the Stage
         5. Sequence of Topics
         6. Finding Out What Really Happened
         7. Oral Communications
    H. A Plan for Getting Admission
    I.  Dealing with an Obstreperous Lawyer
    J.  The Evasive Witness
    K.  A Judge's Perspective on Getting Answers
    L.  Keep Track of Time
    M.  A Judge's Experience With Depositions
        1. The Role They Play
        2. A Few More Insightful Tips
    N. The Client Perspective
        1. Their Importance in the Process
        2. Be Prepared and Focused
        3. Third Parties, Ethical Issues, and Addressing Disinterest
    O. Primary Goal of Depositions
    P. Audience and Panel Discussions
        1. Impeaching the Witness' Testimony 
        2. A Strong Testimony
        3. Redirect
        4. Refocusing the Witness
        5. Documents and Work Product
        6. Is a Deposition Really Important? 
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The years following the Civil War were tumultuous ones for New York City, offering many opportunities to the dishonest. Unsavory politicians and errant members of the bench and bar were among those who took advantage of those troubled times. In December 1869, a letter was circulated among some of the city’s lawyers addressing those improprieties. It called for the creation of a new bar association to “sustain the profession in its proper position in the community, and thereby enable it ... to promote the interests of the public ....” More than 200 lawyers responded by signing a declaration of organization and in 1870 The Association of the Bar of the City of New York was born. The young organization quickly made its presence felt. Among its first activities was a campaign to defeat corrupt politicians and judges at the polls and to establish standards of conduct for those in the legal profession.

The association continues to work at political, legal and social reform, and maintaining high ethical standards for the legal profession. The association also continues to implement innovative means by which the disadvantaged may be helped. Much of this work is accomplished through the Association's more than 160 committees, each charged to consider a specific area of law or the profession.

The association has grown to more than 23,000 members. To serve them, the association strives to move ahead in many areas. The library is the largest member-funded law library in the country, and provides members with a “gateway” to online services, including free use of LexisNexis and WestLaw, while continuing to provide more traditional library services. The Small Law Firm Center, Career Management Program and other benefits are constantly evolving to serve members’ needs. More than 150 continuing legal education programs are presented annually.

The public good remains one of the association’s highest priorities. The Legal Referral Service, jointly sponsored by the association and the New York County Lawyers’ Association, provides an array of services directly aimed at serving the needs of the public. The City Bar Justice Center identifies the most pressing legal concerns of New York’s neediest and uses novel approaches to address them, often involving community participation.

 





Speakers / Authors:

Photo of Lee Ann Stevenson

Lee Ann Stevenson
Zuckerman Spaeder LLP

Lee Ann Stevenson is a partner at Zuckerman Spaeder LLP. She has represented clients in a broad range of complex commercial litigation, including contract and business tort cases, securities suits, environmental claims, labor and employment disputes, class action and mass torts, as well as intellectual property matters. Her clients have included numerous Fortune 500 companies, as well as smaller portfolio companies and individuals. She has tried numerous cases to juries and to the bench in state and federal courts, as well as at arbitrations and hearings. Before joining Zuckerman Spaeder LLP, Ms. Stevenson was a partner in the New York office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP.

Ms. Stevenson has been recognized in legal industry rankings such as Legal 500, which noted her performance in product liability and mass tort defense, and Super Lawyers. She was also named a named a “Rising Star” in product liability by Law360. She has been published in both National Law Journal and New York Law Journal.

Ms. Stevenson earned her J.D. from New York University School of Law in 1998, and her B.S., summa cum laude, from Dickinson College in 1995.

Photo of John Murphy

John Murphy
John Murphy & Associates

John Murphy began his career as a litigator at White & Case and worked on several large commercial and securities cases, including the Enron securities fraud class action which remains one of the largest matters in US litigation history.

In 2006, he joined international UK firm, Linklaters, to help strengthen its litigation capabilities in the U.S. His work at Linklaters included managing a matter for a UK bank that was being investigated by U.S. and UK criminal, regulatory and civil authorities for allegedly violating US sanctions. The investigation lasted over two years, spanned several countries, and, involved interviews of almost 70 witnesses.

In 2010, Mr. Murphy joined UBS Investment Bank to serve as an in-house litigation attorney. He managed a docket of commercial and securities litigation matters, oversaw the bank’s responses to third-party subpoenas, and, he co-headed the bank’s internal investigation unit. In this role he was responsible for conducting dozens of investigations into potential improprieties by bank employees in both the business and middle and back office support roles. These investigations required a mastery of often complex financial products, as well as the methodologies and technologies by which they are traded, captured and recorded.

Mr. Murphy has developed his court room skills by handling tort claim cases through jury trial verdicts while representing the City of New York during a period in which he worked for Corporation Counsel, and, he also completed a number of arbitration proceedings involving alleged negligence and fiduciary duty violations.

Throughout his career, Mr. Murphy has been active in public service and charitable activities. In 2010, he was honored with Caroline Kennedy by the City of New York for his contributions to the region’s Irish and Irish-American communities. His awards also include being named to the Irish-Legal 100 since 2009 and being named in the “Top-40-Under-40” in 2007.

Mr. Murphy received his J.D. from the University of Notre Dame in 2002, and his B.S. from Mercyhurst University in 1997.

Photo of Andrew Clubok

Andrew Clubok
Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Andrew Clubok is a partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP. He has a diverse practice, mixing trial, appellate and administrative litigation in a wide range of substantive areas including securities law, tax litigation, environmental litigation, telecommunications, restructuring and commercial litigation.

Mr. Clubok’s successful representations have included: Obtaining complete defense verdicts and/or dismissal of dozens of securities class actions, shareholder derivative lawsuits and arbitrations, including those involving IPO-related alleged misconduct, mortgage backed securities, “short swing profits”, “naked short selling”, and preemption under SLUSA; successfully arguing numerous IRS tax appeals and serving as lead trial counsel in successful refund case; achieving class decertification and summary judgment in mass toxic tort cases and dismissals of environmental nuisance claims; successfully defending debtors in numerous bankruptcy proceedings; obtaining an injunction against a state statute that required automobile manufacturers and dealers to sell electric vehicles in violation of the Clean Air Act and an injunction against regulations that required state fuel economy standards; obtaining state regulatory approval for a telecommunications merger; enjoining a state statute that would have unconstitutionally regulated telephone rates; defending automobile manufacturers in government recall actions, including a complete defense verdict after trial; obtaining relief for clients from competitors’ unfair trade practices and successfully suing for false advertising; litigating Internet sales contracts; and defending against individual employment claims. Andrew has also provided significant counseling on such issues as Sarbanes-Oxley, antitrust, federal election law and regulatory compliance.

Mr. Clubok has been recognized in The Legal 500 U.S. from 2009-2013 for Securities: Shareholder Litigation, and was selected as a 2012 "Securities MVP" in Law360's "MVPs of the Year" list as well as being selected to serve on the 2013 Law360 Securities Editorial Advisory Board.

Mr. Clubok received his J.D. with Honors from the University of Michigan Law School in 1993 and his A.B. with Honors from Harvard College in 1990.

Photo of Bernadette Miragliotta

Bernadette Miragliotta

 

Bernadette Miragliotta is the Senior Litigation Counsel at American Express responsible for overseeing all litigation matters and litigation-related activities and processes, including class actions, antitrust matters, shareholder derivative cases, major commercial disputes, internal and government investigations. Ms. Miragliotta joined American Express in 2012 after spending over 10 years in the legal department of Verizon Communications Inc.

She began her career at Verizon in 2001 as Litigation Counsel and assumed roles of increasing responsibility throughout her tenure. There she served as Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel responsible for all of Verizon's major wireline pre-litigation and litigation matters. She also advised on risk mitigation and compliance issues across Verizon's business units.

Prior to joining Verizon in 2001, Ms. Miragliotta was a decorated Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of New York. She investigated and prosecuted scores of complex criminal matters, including those involving domestic terrorism, RICO, and fraud. She was the lead prosecutor in several trials and
has argued extensively before the trial and appellate courts. In 2000, she was awarded the New York City Bar Association's Stimson Medal for outstanding contribution to the Office of the United States Attorney.

Ms. Miragliotta began her legal career as an Associate at the law firm of Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton in New York. She attended New York University, where
she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and New York University School of Law, graduating with honors.

 

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Details

Course Code : 773139

Release Date: 4/2/2014 12:00:00 AM
Recorded Date: 2/25/2014
Length: 2hr 27min
Format Type: Video

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