The Persuader's Real Rules of Exhibits

Remember to emphasize some point in every deposition: And you can change settlement value.

Invest two minutes evaluating one aspect of your deposition skills by answering these three questions about your last deposition.

  • #1. Before the deposition did you decide what probably would be the most important (to your side of the case) exhibits or facts or opinions?
  • #2. Before the deposition did you decide how you would emphasize them?
  • #3. [The most important of these three questions] During your last deposition how did you emphasize the most important (to your side of the case) exhibits, facts, or opinions?

Those three questions tell something about the way you are building (or not building) the other side's evaluation of settlement value. At every deposition you must during the testimony you educe emphasize the testimony that will help you with the settlement value of the case? Here's why:

After the deposition your adversary attorney is likely to report "what happened" to their client. That report is likely to affect how their client values the case. Further, there will come a time when your adversary attorney will review the case and make a formal settlement evaluation to their client. When that review is done, you want your adversary attorney to recall not only the testimony he/she brought out from the witness, but also the testimony you emphasized by and during your examination of the witness.

If in a deposition, you, yourself, in your questioning, did not emphasis anything, or left the "worst-to-you" testimony as emphasized by your opponent, your opponent attorney will not be easily moved to change the settlement value of the case in your favor.

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