Morning Open Thread – Depostion nightmare

Morning Open Thread is an open discussion forum for human interest news of the day.

I have participated in several hundred depositions over the past 40+ years. Sometimes as a witness, and sometimes as an observer/consultant.

If one stays in this business long enough, you see just about everything. There are some that become classics. Thanks to the Internet, some of the classics are now memorialized for the public to see.  Some of my favorite depositions have involved witnesses who are extremely concrete-minded. They truly make a lawyer earn his or her fee.

The New York Times published this exact verbatim reenactment from the court reporter’s transcript of such a a memorable deposition.


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This is an open thread. Grab your cup, pull up a chair and sit a spell. The floor is open for discussion.

About Chuck Stanley

Dr. Charlton (Chuck) Stanley is a board certified forensic psychologist, with interests in aviation psychology, peace officer selection and training, ethics and communication skills.
This entry was posted in Courts, Evidence Law, Legal Analysis, Logic and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Morning Open Thread – Depostion nightmare

  1. LOL, Chuck. I hope there are more of these vids.
    Dreary weather day AGAIN. I am about to head out, & as mentioned elsewhere, perhaps pick up a small pot roast for giving your recipe a try.

  2. rafflaw says:

    Hilarious Chuck!!

  3. Raff,
    I am sure you have had a few depositions like that. Better to be an observer than a victim in most cases.

    Worked on a case once where a tough little red headed Cajun truck driver was hauling a load of corn on I-20 near Tallulah, LA. He was driving an 18-wheeler with an open top, covered with a heavy tarp. Clouds were forming, and it was obvious rain was about to start. He could not allow his load of corn to get wet, so he decided the tarp needed to be tightened down. Pulled off on the shoulder so he could climb up on top and check the tension on the rope lashings. About that time, a small tornado formed near his truck and blew him off.

    He broke his fall by landing on top of his head on Interstate 20.

    I saw him to assess how much mental function he had lost due to brain damage. The worker’s comp insurance company fought hard, claiming he was not hurt all that bad. Their lawyer took my deposition before they deposed the truck driver. I warned the lawyer to handle the guy with kid gloves because 1) he was a redhead of Cajun and Irish descent; and 2) his brain damage had not improved his ability to control his temper at all.

    Two weeks later, the plaintiff’s lawyer called me, laughing so hard I had trouble understanding him. He said I had made the workers comp lawyer a true believer in my predictive skills. Seems the deposing lawyer was extremely aggressive in his questioning. He prodded our Cajun client once too many times. Plaintiff launched himself over the conference table, had the lawyer on the floor, strangling the man with his own necktie before his own lawyer and the court reporter could get him under control.

    No charges were filed. He had been warned.

  4. pete9999 says:

    Ha ha ha somebody hand me a Kleenex.

  5. David says:

    That is very funny and doubtless was instructive to the insurance company’s council. There is an art to questioning people.

    I have a coworker who once very aggressively questioned a user about how he infected his computer with malware. I believe that management talked with him about leaving that to it Security and HR. I don’t bother with such confrontational tactics and just do a quick survey and turn it over to one of our it security experts if I suspect anything. The browsing history is enough to figure out what sites were visited.

  6. That isn’t the only time that tactic has been used to prevent people from getting copies, essentially dodging a requirement to inform people of what going on. Weirdly the same thing came up in Hawaii. So many people were attempting to get copies of records relating to Obama, that eventually they just gave up and started refusing requests in various convoluted ways.
    All the birthers demands for records were just overloading them.

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