Yes, you will see the document being referenced in a deposition. If there is any document that is being used to question you, you should ask to see the document.

How Should Someone Expect To Be Treated by the Opposing Counsel?

Generally speaking, you should be treated courteously by opposing counsel. There can be some breakdown in communications during the course of a deposition. Objections, as previously indicated, are supposed to be very limited. General evidentiary objections that would be made in court are waived almost exclusively and entirely until the time of a trial when a judge can actually rule on those objections. It is important to know that the questions that are asked and answered in a deposition are not always calculated to be Q&A that is admissible during the course of a trial, but the goal is to determine whether the question and answer can be used to lead to admissible evidence.

Will Opposing Counsel Have Access to My Personal Records Like Medical or Driving Records?

Opposing counsel may or may not have access to personal records. In a deposition, pretty much anything and everything in your life is fair game. If there are entries in medical records, then you will be asked about them. There are many things to keep in mind, such as any medical history that you have reported to a healthcare provider, reports on your levels of pain, and reports on your functional status. You may have entries in your medical records about incidents that happened at home, at work or in school. Physical therapists very often record the first few sentences of each therapy session in quotation marks because you are being asked, “How are you? What is going on?” So, they often write down that information which you have reported.

I like to see that my clients have been provided with their medical records and their interrogatory responses for written questions for which a party is required to provide written answers prior to a deposition. In deposition preparation, if there is something that we have noticed that might need to be explained, we want to discuss those issues during our meeting to prepare the deposition. The records could include the driving history, because there could be certain circumstances where your driving history might be important or your records concerning use of alcohol, drugs, medications or psychiatric history, and any psychological history.

It is important to flush out those things before the deposition, so that your lawyer and you have an understanding about what those things mean in context; simply because they are addressed in a deposition does not mean they will be addressed in the open at trial. Lawyers have a way of addressing issues, embarrassing non-relevant issues, with the court to keep that sort of information from seeing the light of day during a trial. It is always best to be honest. First and foremost, that is the most important instruction any deponent, anyone who is going to be deposed, is told. Be honest.

Can I Be Present if Someone Else Is Testifying at a Deposition?

Parties have an absolute right to be present during any deposition in a case in which they are a party. If you want to be present at someone else’ deposition and you are not a party, it is only by consent of all parties. For example, particularly with young people, teenagers, even with some young adults, opposing counsel are often not opposed to having that kind of support during a deposition, but generally speaking, someone who is unrelated or unconnected to the case, is not allowed in the deposition conference room.

Do You Ever Recommend to Your Clients That They Attend Someone’s Deposition?

Yes, very often I do recommend my clients attend someone’s deposition. There are circumstances where it is important to know what a deponent says, because it provides information, and because there are different types of learners. There are visual learners and then there are verbal learners. Particularly in brain injury cases, head injury cases, and concussion cases, when there are witnesses testifying, someone with a visual memory deficit or processing issue can benefit from listening to what doctors, therapists or teachers have to say. We try to be judicious with making those recommendations because sometimes a healthcare provider or a therapist might be providing information that might be unbalancing both for the client as well as difficult for the witness to say when the person is present.

For more information on Seeing Documents in Deposition, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (203) 325-8600 today.