Jacksonville Bar Association

Depositions

  1. Depositions should be taken only when actually needed to ascertain facts or information or to perpetuate testimony. Depositions never should  be used as a means of harassment or to generate expense.
  2. When scheduling depositions, reasonable consideration should be given to accommodating schedules of opposing counsel and deponent, when it is possible to do so without prejudicing the client’s rights.
  3. When scheduling depositions on oral examination, a lawyer should allow enough time to permit the conclusion of the deposition, including examination by all parties, without adjournment.
  4. Counsel should not attempt to delay a deposition for dilatory purposes,  but only if necessary to meet real scheduling problems.
  5. Counsel should not inquire into a deponent’s personal affairs or integrity when that inquiry is not relevant to the subject matter involved in the pending action.
  6. Counsel should refrain from repetitive or argumentative questions or those asked solely for purposes of harassment. Counsel should not conduct questioning in a manner that is intended to harass a witness, such as by repeating questions after they have been answered, by raising one’s voice or by appearing angry at the witness.
  7. Counsel defending a deposition should limit objections to those that are well founded and permitted by the Florida or Federal Rules Rules of Civil Procedure or applicable case law. Counsel should remember  that most objections are preserved and need be interposed only when the form of the question is defective or when privileged information is sought. When objecting to the form of a question, counsel should simply state “I object to the form of the question.” The grounds should not be stated unless asked for by the examining attorney. When the grounds are requested,  they should be stated succinctly.
  8. While a question is pending, counsel should not coach the deponent  nor suggest answers  through objections or otherwise.
  9. Counsel should refrain from self-serving speeches during depositions.
  10. Counsel should not engage in any conduct during a deposition that would not be allowed in the presence of a judicial officer, including disparaging personal remarks or acrimony toward opposing counsel, and gestures, facial expressions, audible comment, or the like as manifestations of approval or disapproval during the testimony of the witness.

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