Why You Should Not Represent Yourself in a Deposition
Hi. I’m Jared Richards, one of the partners here at Clear Counsel Law Group, and one of our readers has asked, “Is it a bad idea to represent myself in my own deposition for my own personal injury case?” The answer is yeah, it’s a bad idea. The basic concept of this is the rules of this whole procedure, the laws related to injury or really any area of law, they can get complex. Sometimes there are minutia that you don’t think about, little details that attorneys are trained to think about because we’ve done it before, and we’ve been down that road, and we have experience, and we identify these problems and traps that you don’t necessarily know.
In defending a deposition, it’s going to be somebody’s job, either your job or the attorney’s job, to make objections to improper questions, and if you don’t make the right objections, then sometimes your case can run into trouble. In addition, there’s an art to technique to taking a deposition, and it’s really helpful to work with an attorney to learn what it is that you should say, what it is you shouldn’t say. I mean you should always tell the truth, but generally it is both the defense and plaintiffs will tell their people not to volunteer more information that’s not actually asked, and that’s something that an attorney can help you with during a deposition.
The other thing is that it’s always nice to have somebody else as a sounding board, who when you take a break, can tell you how you’re doing, whether your demeanor is good, and whether there’s anything that you ought to be doing to make your deposition even a better experience. That’s something that you can’t really do by yourself because it’s really tough to sit outside your body and watch yourself act or talk and see how your body language is. That’s something that an attorney is good at.
Really, I would never recommend for somebody to, one, represent themselves in a serious lawsuit, and I certainly wouldn’t recommend them to go into a deposition without an attorney. If you’re in that situation, give us a call and let’s see if I can help you or one of my attorneys can help represent you in that. Regardless, if you have any questions, just give us a call and we’re happy to help.