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?
Q. So if you don’t tell me, it’s fair [reasonable] to infer that you do understand it?
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:
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