978-1-4133-0178-6 / 1413301789

Nolo's Deposition Handbook, 3rd Edition

by Bergman, Paul




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About the book:

Court cases are never as quick and tidy as television dramas would have us believe. In fact, most civil disputes are settled long before a judge has a chance to pound a gavel. That's why pretrial fact-finding procedures such as depositions play an increasingly important role in legal quarrels. In fact, it's not uncommon for a deposition to be the only testimony given. All of this explains why Nolo's Deposition Handbook can be such a useful resource. For the uninitiated, depositions are the process that enable either party in a lawsuit to question the other, as well as other witnesses, under oath before a trial begins. To prepare readers, authors (and attorneys) Paul Bergman and Albert Moore do a commendable job of dealing with real-life issues, such as what to do--and not to do--in preparation for a deposition, what to do if you're asked to bring documents to a deposition, how far you can be required to travel, and how to deal with trick questions that many lawyers love to ask. Three "Golden Rules" are also offered to help people through the deposition process. Put simply, the rules are to listen to the entire question and then answer only that question; answer truthfully and completely; and if you don't understand a question, don't answer it. The tone of the entire book acknowledges--without being condescending--that legal arenas are an area where novices feel quite underqualified. For example, the authors warn against engaging in seemingly harmless chit-chat with a companion before and during breaks in a deposition. The reason is one that most non-lawyers would be hard-pressed to imagine: Deposing counsel can ask the companion to reveal what the deponent said. Of course, readers intrigued by that line of thinking will thoroughly enjoy the last half of the book, which is devoted to those interested in representing themselves in legal matters. --John Russell

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