Near the beginning of many depositions there are the following questions and often the following answers:

Q. If you don’t understand my question can we agree that you will tell me?
A. Yes.
Q. So if you don’t tell me, it’s fair [reasonable] to infer that you do understand it?
A. Yes.

Of course, there are lots of different ways to start this sequence.

The answer should never, ever be “Yes.”  There is a very simple reason.  Often someone does not understand a proposition and/or a question and does not realize that he does not understand it.  Thus, the first answer should be:

A. No.

This may shock the questioner, or s/he may realize immediately what has happened and pass one.  I once saw a lawyer stop the deposition and call the court for an order.  The judge laughed in the lawyer’s ear.  Needless to say, the lawyer was a new one.  Still, he was an “idiot.”

Originally posted on 08/25/2013 @ 4:57 pm

Michael Sean Quinn, PhD, JD, CPCU, Etc

Michael Sean Quinn, PhD, JD, CPCU, Etc. (530)

One of Texas's leading insurance scholars, Michael Sean Quinn is a past chair of the Insurance Section of the State Bar of Texas and has a broad legal practice.

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