This is a Power Litigation™ article or BucklinTrial Notebook™ article authored by Leonard Bucklin, a Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. Fellowship is by invitation only, and is limited to 500 trial lawyers in the United States. Trial lawyers are invited to become Fellows only after a vetting process that includes inquiries of both judges and trial lawyers of high standing.
This form is typical of how our forms include mentoring advice with a checklist outline. It's a free gift to you. It's a result of our following our mission statement: "Making Good Lawyers Better". Thank you for being a customer! Download it in PDF format, without charge.
In some depositions, there comes a time when the adverse witness says "I don't know" or "I don't remember." Beware of simply taking the answer and moving to a different question. "I don't know" or "I don't remember" allow the witness to appear at trial with a refreshed memory and a new answer that surprises you at the trial.
Moreover, some insurers and attorneys have been known to engage in the shady practice of educating a witness to say "I don't know" to any questions of present location or occurrences. For example, the drill once taught to one insurer's employees in preparation for their being deposed on issues of bad faith went like this.
"Mary, don't you understand that even if you parked your car in the parking lot when you came in here, your car may have been stolen. Therefore the correct answer is 'I don't know' if the plaintiff's attorney asks you where your car is. Now let's talk about your answer to "Where are the company files on refused claims.....")
In short, don't let any witness fool you about what they really do know. Moreover, even if this witness really does not know the information, she may know how to get the information you want.
Therefore - every time a witness says, "I don't know" or "I don't remember," there is a series of questions you should ask the witness. You ask these questions to find more information from the uncooperative witness. You ask these questions lessen changes of an adverse witness mouse-trapping you with a miraculous attack of memory recovery a day before trial.
Our "100% money back, No Questions Asked, Guarantee."
If you don't totally agree that the book with all its forms is worth every penny, simply tell us within 60 days to refund your money. You keep our book; we refund your money. What could be better!
Read our guarantee here!
No Legal Advice. LawyerTrialForms™ articles and legal forms are intended to provide information about the subject matter covered, but are provided with the understanding that the author, editor, and publisher do not render legal or other professional services. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, seek the service of a competent professional. Attorneys using our publications in dealing with a specific legal matter should exercise their own independent judgment and research original sources of authority and law.
Trademarks and Copyrights 1998 to 2014, Leonard Bucklin.