Seminar  Seminar

Fundamentals of Taking and Defending Depositions 2014

Why you should attend

Depositions have become increasingly important for use in motion practice, at trial, and when evaluating the merits of a case for settlement. Skilled litigators use depositions to gather information, learn about an adversary’s case, and get a close-up look at the performance of potential trial witnesses. Our faculty of experienced litigators will share their insights and provide practical advice to guide you through every facet of the deposition process and give you the fundamental skills for taking and defending depositions.

The program begins with an overview of the applicable Federal and New York State Rules of Civil Procedure, and continues with strategic practice tips to use when taking and defending depositions, preparing witnesses and understanding your client’s expectations. Our stellar faculty will offer their perspectives on the best and most creative uses for deposition transcripts and videos as part of motion practice and trial, and also guide an interactive discussion of important ethical issues that may arise during depositions.

You won’t want to miss this unique opportunity to learn the most proven and effective ways to prepare for, take and defend depositions. We encourage live and webcast audience participation using our state of the art technology so that our panels can discuss issues raised from your own deposition experience. Gain a better understanding of the tactical and strategic considerations behind the techniques employed in high-stakes depositions, so that you can effectively use depositions at settlement and trial.

What you will learn

  • Deposition strategy and purpose:  deciding where each deposition fits into your overall discovery plan and litigation strategy
  • How to prepare for a deposition
  • Nuts and bolts of taking a deposition, including stipulations, objections, and use of exhibits
  • How to deal with a difficult adversary
  • Defending the deposition: objections, instructing the witness, and going off the record
  • Strategically using deposition testimony in motions and at trial: rules, techniques, and tactical concerns
  • How to handle ethical issues that can arise

Who should attend

Whether you’re an experienced litigator or are new to the deposition process, this program will give you fresh ideas and the skills to prepare, execute, and use depositions in the most effective manner for your clients and your cases.

9:00 Opening Remarks and Introduction
Speakers: Gerald A. Stein

9:15 Overview of Deposition Rules
  • Federal rules
  • New York state rules
Speakers: David A. Piedra, James H.R. Windels

10:15 Practice Tips and Logistics
  • Making and handling objections
  • How to best utilize the court reporter
  • How to control and run a smooth deposition
Speakers: Seth A. Gastwirth, Denise L. Plunkett, Randi W. Singer

11:15 Networking Break

11:30 Preparing the Witness, Defending the Deposition, and Understanding Client Expectations
  • Preparing fact and 30(b)(6) witnesses
  • Dealing with difficult witnesses and adversaries
  • How and when to “cross-examine” your own witness
  • Considerations for a videotaped deposition
  • How to prepare for the unexpected
  • Understanding your client’s concerns
Speakers: James S. Goddard, Charles Michael, Lori L. Pines

12:45 Lunch

1:45 Strategic Use of the Deposition Transcript and Video Clips
  • How to creatively and effectively use deposition testimony for motion practice and at trial
  • How deposition testimony can help determine the merits of a case and shape settlement discussions
  • How depositions can impact a case
Speakers: Mark S. Cohen, William H. Taft V, Hon. Analisa Torres

3:15 Networking Break

3:30 Ethical Dilemmas Arising With Depositions
  • Obligations of lawyers when clients do not tell the truth
  • How to handle tricky or abusive behavior during depositions
  • Issues arising with attorneys who implant memories or instill doubt about recollections in witnesses during preparation
  • Coaching or talking with witnesses during depositions
  • Limits on informal discovery from potential witnesses before deposition
  • Using social media to collect information about deponents
Speakers: Kenneth J. Brown, David G. Keyko, Blythe E. Lovinger

Program Attorney(s)
Laurie Gilbertson ~ Program Attorney, Practising Law Institute

New York City Seminar Location

PLI New York Center
, 1177 Avenue of the Americas, (2nd floor), entrance on 45th Street, New York, New York 10036. Message Center, program days only: (212) 824-5733.

New York City Hotel Accommodations

Crowne Plaza Times Square Manhattan, 1605 Broadway (at 48th Street), New York, NY 10019 (212) 977-4000. When calling, mention Practising Law Institute. You can also make reservations online to access PLI's rates.

The Muse, 130 West 46th Street, New York, NY 10036.  Please call reservations at 1-800-546-7866. When calling, please mention Practising Law Institute.  You can also book online at

Millennium Broadway Hotel, 145 West 44th Street, New York, NY 10036. Please call reservations at 1-800-622-5569.  When calling, please mention Practising Law Institute.  You can also book online at

Hyatt Times Square, 135 W. 45th Street, New York, NY 10036. For reservations, please call (646) 364-1234. When calling mention rate code CR56218 or Practising Law Institute.

PLI seminars qualify for credit in all states that require mandatory continuing legal education for attorneys. Please be sure to check with your state.

Please check the Credit Information box to the right of each product description for credit information specific to your state.

Special Note: In New York, newly admitted attorneys may receive CLE credit only for attendance at "transitional" programs during their first two years of admission to the Bar. Non-traditional course formats such as on-demand web programs or recorded items, are not acceptable for CLE credit. Experienced attorneys may choose to attend and receive CLE credit for either a transitional course or for one geared to experienced attorneys.  All product types, including on-demand web programs and recorded items, are approved for experienced attorneys.

Please Note: The State Bar of Arizona does not approve or accredit CLE activities for the Mandatory Continuing Legal Education requirement. PLI programs may qualify for credit based on the requirements outlined in the MCLE Regulations and Ariz. R. Sup. Ct. Rule 45.

If you have already received credit for attending some or the entire program, please be aware that state administrators do not permit you to accrue additional credit for repeat viewing even if an additional credit certificate is subsequently issued.

Credit will be granted only to the individual on record as the purchaser unless alternative arrangements (prearranged groupcast) are made in advance.

Item# 49868
Location:  New York, NY
We are sorry, but this program is no longer available for purchase online. For more information please call our Customer Service Department at (800) 260-4PLI.

Seminar attendance includes course handbook and associated course materials. A downloadable course handbook will also be available several days prior to the program start for your review.