My fourth tip for giving an effective deposition is don’t guess. This is a little more complicated than it might seem. It’s okay to estimate; it’s not okay to guess. Let me define those terms for you. This is an example that attorneys frequently use when they’re explaining this concept to clients or sometimes even when they’re explaining this concept to the witness that they’re deposing.
If I’m taking the deposition of a witness I might ask that witness: What is the length of this conference room table? The witness is not able to answer that question with any precision because the witness doesn’t have a tape measure and hasn’t measured the conference room table. But the witness does have experience with measurements and he or she can look at the conference table and say “This conference room table looks to me like it’s about 16′ long.” That’s an estimate. It’s not a guess; it’s an estimate.
On the other hand, I could ask the witness: How long is my kitchen table in my house? Well the witness, hopefully, has never been to my house so the witness doesn’t know and doesn’t have any basis for even estimating the length of the kitchen table in my house. If the witness in that case were to throw out a number, “Oh I’m going to say 14′,” well that is strictly a guess. The witness is not estimating based on any personal knowledge that he or she has. He’s guessing.
My fourth tip for how to give an effective deposition is don’t guess. It’s okay to estimate but don’t guess. Please view my other videos for my other top seven tips on how to give an effective deposition.
Please view my other videos on my top seven tips for giving an effective deposition. Click through on any of these options and you’ll find me going into greater detail and analysis: