We live in an era when most litigation parties never see the inside of a courtroom. Cases are resolved by motion practice, by informal settlement, or by formal procedures such as arbitration and mediation. Rarely does an attorney get to say, "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury . . . ."
Does this change render deposition practice obsolete? Quite the opposite—depositions are more important than ever. Instead of a battle between attorneys who are trying to hide their evidence for trial, depositions are the place to put your best case forward, establish your case theories, explore the strengths and weaknesses of your case, and prepare your disposition strategy, be it a motion for summary judgment, a settlement offer, or mediation.
Taking effective depositions in this changed environment involves a new paradigm, a whole new way of thinking about the discovery process. This book will guide you through that process, from interviewing and preparing your client through theory building and expert testimony. It also deals with concrete issues like creating a clean, understandable deposition record that will benefit your case throughout the litigation process. With its Q&A format and its many examples, The Deposition Tutorial will become the book you want on your desk for quick reference.
Advanced Prasie for The Deposiiton Turtorial
The Deposition Tutorial is a superb, innovative and much-needed contribution to the library of material available to those teaching and learning vital skills of deposition taking and defending. Its particular strengths that distinguish it from all other primers on the topic inlcude:
• The authors recognize, and adapt their turtorial methods to, the reality that almost no civil cases are taken to trial. Litigation is now "trial by deposition," which significantly affects the skills, methods, and strategies the modern deposition-taker must master.
• By the use of a representative fictional case file threaded through the book, with a variey of illustrative examples of transcript excerpts, the turtorial takes the reader through an actual deposition. The result places the reader in a "real life" deposition setting.
• The format is equally useful as a self-taught turtorial for new lawyers / refresher for experienced litigators as for a more traditional training program where instructors lead participants through exercise using the case file.
• The book is short and to the point-eminently as usable as a quick reference tool as for a complete deposition course of study.
Thosmas Jay Leach & Cary A Bricker,
Pacific McGeorge School of Law
Bocchino and Shonenshein continue their mastery of importance of deposition use and strategy in this new and insightful book. In addition to asking and answering the questions that new (and sometimes not-so-new) lawyers and law students ask about traditional deposition practice, they have recognized the depositions have become the "new trial" experience, important for the purpose of persuading opposing clients, their attorneys and "neutrals" that pretrial disposition is an alternative that is better than a trial to a jury or an ADR panel. This should be required reading for all "litigators" not just trial lawyers.
Lawrence M. Rose
Professor Emeritus and Director of Litigation Skills Program
University of Miami
President of NITA (2006-2010)
Depositions aren't what they used to be, as the very nature of litigation has been transformed in the age of the "vanishing trial." Bocchino and Sonenshein have perfectly captured the ways that deposition practice must be adapted for the new enviornment, making The Deposition Tutorial a must-read for every twenty-first century lawyers.
Williams Memorial Professor
Director, Bartlit Center for Trial Advocacy
Northwestern Pritzker School of Law