Visitor Publish: The Insurance coverage Skilled’s Information to Depositions, Half 1 – What to Count on in a Deposition

Right now’s publish is the primary in a collection of posts by good friend of the Academy, Crystal M. Uebelher, J.D., CPCU. Crystal is an insurance coverage skilled and a lawyer. Crystal loves instructing non-lawyers concerning the legislation and legal professionals about insurance coverage.
Many insurance coverage professionals think about giving a deposition to be one thing between a significant annoyance and a destiny near dying. A colleague as soon as aptly mentioned, “I’d fairly get my eye lashes pulled out one after the other than give a deposition.” These damaging reactions are a pure response to the concept of sitting throughout the desk from somebody whose most important purpose is to make you say one thing you’ll remorse. As a lawyer, I discover the verbal sparring of a deposition to be a possibility to remain sharp. I understand that most individuals don’t see it the identical approach. On this collection of blogs, I’ll problem you to vary your pondering on depositions. I consider that if you happen to perceive the method and put money into preparation, you’ll view depositions as a possibility as an alternative of a trigger for dread.
The place do depositions match into discovery?
Let’s begin our exploration of depositions with understanding how a deposition matches into the litigation course of. A deposition is part of the invention section of litigation. In contrast to most authorized phrases, this one means precisely what it appears like. Discovery is the method of exchanging info between the events so everybody has a clearer understanding of the information and the authorized positions every celebration is taking. Discovery helps the legal professionals determine what angles they will assault to win the case or safe a good settlement. Or within the worst instances, discovery makes the lawyer understand that the case must be settled earlier than it’s misplaced.
Discovery contains exchanging paperwork and answering written questions, referred to as interrogatories. Doc trade and interrogatories often happen earlier than the legal professionals request depositions. The responses to interrogatories are drafted by your organization’s lawyer. A very good lawyer is aware of methods to draft interrogatory solutions to forged your place in one of the best gentle. There’s additionally an artwork to responding to interrogatories, during which a lawyer gives as a lot info as is required to actually and ethically reply the query and never a tiny bit extra.
In the event you already answered the questions, why have a deposition?
A deposition is the opposing lawyer’s instrument to attract out extra particulars that may undermine your organization’s place. Bear in mind, the deposition is sworn testimony. A court docket reporter is current and also you’ll take an oath to inform the reality, simply as you’ll in a courtroom. In different phrases, you might be swearing, underneath threat of being responsible of perjury, that what you say is true. Every assertion made through the deposition is transcribed by the court docket reporter to supply a precise document of the questions and solutions. Because of this as an alternative of your organization’s lawyer rigorously contemplating every reply whereas sitting behind a pc, you will need to reply the questions in actual time.
Herein lies the explanation so many people dread depositions. The opposing lawyer’s most important purpose on the deposition is to persuade you to offer responses that undermine these rigorously crafted interrogatory solutions. It could possibly be new info or info that contradicts the prior interrogatories, both can undermine the energy of your case. For this reason it’s so essential to know the place the deposition matches within the discovery course of. In case you are armed with the data of what has been completed already and perceive the impact of your solutions, you may flip the tables on the opposing lawyer.
I’ll be persevering with this dialogue in a number of extra weblog posts explaining the steps I’ve taken to arrange for and provides deposition testimony. I hope you’ll proceed studying to be taught how one can flip this dreaded occasion into a possibility to advocate on your firm. Subsequent up I’ll focus on the inquiries to ask your lawyer to know how your testimony matches into your organization’s protection technique.
Crystal Uebelher, J.D., CPCU is an insurance coverage lawyer who’s keen about elevating the experience of legal professionals and insurance coverage professionals on the ever-changing points in our business. Crystal is the proprietor of Readability Training and Consulting, LLC, the place she creates significant instructional experiences for insurance coverage brokers, legal professionals and claims professionals. Crystal additionally works within the Claims Division at a mutual insurance coverage service.
Crystal earner her juris doctorate in 2007 from the College of Wisconsin Legislation Faculty (magna cum laude, Order of the Coif). She earned her Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter designation in 2017.

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