How Lawyers Will Try to Extract More Information From You
New Jersey accident law firm attorneys will often instruct you not to volunteer additional information at your deposition. The opposing side’s attorney will attempt to elicit more information from you, so be on your guard and cooperate with your legal counsel when they instruct you to stop talking.
Getting You to Act Like a Normal Person
At the beginning of the deposition, the witness is almost always a bit reticent. This is due to the fact that the witness is faithfully following his New Jersey accident law firm attorney’s pre-deposition instructions, which are to:
- Only provide the most basic response to any question asked.
- Stop completely after answering the question.
- Never volunteer more information than what is required.
The attorney cross-examining the witness will encourage him to disregard such instructions and answer questions like a normal person. More often than not, the witness cannot to put up the act forever and will revert back to his social nature, answering questions and conversing in a normal, free-flowing manner. It’s difficult for anyone to respond to every question with measured, indistinct one-word answers.
Asking Open-Ended Questions
To achieve this, the opposing counsel will often ask several open-ended questions, such as: “Can you tell me about the car accident, Mr. Jackson?” This kind of question requires more than just a yes or no response, and may catch the witness off guard. To coax the witness (who is likely still mindful of his attorney’s instructions) into answering, the opposing attorney may say, “Just start at the beginning.” When the witness provides limited response, the lawyer will ask another open-ended question: “What happened next?” With enough repetition, the witness will adhere less and less to his attorney’s instructions and gradually offer more details.
The witness’ New Jersey accident law firm attorney will not sit idly by as the other attorney tries to get the witness to open up. In fact, he knows that all witnesses will eventually forget not to volunteer unnecessary information. Therefore, when defending a deposition, the witness’ attorney will try to remind the witness not to answer a question that wasn’t asked by saying something like, “That’s not the question. Please pay attention to what’s being asked.”
The same tactic is applied if the witness answers a question and continues to talk. In this case, the lawyer might say something like, “You’ve finished answering the question, Phyllis. Wait for the next question.”
You and your New Jersey accident law firm attorney should be on the same page well before the deposition, and you should understand that anything your attorney says to you during the deposition is for your own benefit.
If you have suffered a personal injury and would like a reputable New Jersey accident law firm to prepare you for trial, please call the Clark Law Firm, PC at 877-841-8855. The initial consultation is free.