I must admit that early in my career as a Dothan, Alabama injury lawyer, I may have thought that my client has done nothing wrong, so what would we have to hide? Thus, the deposition preparation might consist of meeting with the client prior to the deposition and remind them to be truthful, polite, dress appropriate and only answer the questions asked unless I instruct them not to and that they have done nothing wrong and have nothing to hide. However, after more than eleven years of being a lawyer, I realize that a client deposition preparation needs to be more thorough and extensive than that. I understand that we must go into the client deposition with a focus on a demonstration of liability and damages and to address any potential defenses, pre-existing injuries and gaps in treatment as well as any other critical issues and that there is potentially a lot to lose. While being truthful is still a priority, I know very well that the insurance defense attorney comes to this deposition with a fixed agenda of fishing for defenses and issues to escape or reduce liability and not necessarily to find the truth. The client must be effectively prepared to know what they are getting involved in, and not just thrown to the sharks. The client must be protected with thorough preparation or the value of the case will be jeopardized.
The client does not necessarily need to be burdened with the concern of every detail and possible scenario or potential issue that might arise in the case. In fact, in most instances, it is better for the client to just rely on their Dothan, Alabama injury lawyers to deal with that and to not know. That said, the client must be prepared to talk about at least in general, the theories of liability in which they have sued under while leaving of that and all of the ramifications to their lawyers. This can easily be explained. The last thing you want is for a client to go into their deposition and testify that they do not think the person or company they have sued has done anything wrong or that they have no idea why a lawsuit was filed. Again, it is perfectly acceptable for a client to testify that they are relying on the advice of their lawyers, but I want my clients to be able to have a basic understanding of and to be able to explain the theories of liability. This takes preparation. In part three of this series join me, Dothan, Alabama injury lawyer Aaron Gartlan where you will learn more about being prepared for the client deposition.
Aaron Gartlan is a graduate of Troy University and the Thomas Goode Jones School of Law who focuses his practice exclusively on representing those injured by the wrongdoing of others. He is member of the National Trial Lawyers Association’s Top 100 Trial Lawyers, Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. In addition to his legal practice, Aaron teaches Business Law as an adjunct instructor at Troy University’s Sorrell College of Business and serves as a field artillery sergeant in the Alabama National Guard.