5 Lawyers You Meet In Depositions, Part 1: The Obstructionist and the Buddy Guy

Let’s talk for a second about the assholes you meet at depositions.

Alright, so you folks should know that over the past few days I’ve been involved in the most hell-ridden part of litigation, namely the process of deposing an opposing party and letting them depose my client.  Not only were these depositions, but these were the most soul-crushing of all depositions:  The trial deposition, where civility flies out the window and people start talking over one another so quickly that the record appears to be half-written sentences with multiple interruptions.

If you’re not familiar with the trial deposition, it’s used when the witness that you’re deposing, and in some cases the party that you’re deposing, won’t be available (or may not be available) at the time of trial.  Here, in Pennsylvania, we also use it in certain circumstances where there’s no such thing as an evidentiary hearing because of the nature of the action.  In these rare situations, the entire evidentiary record as it relates to that one witness is going to be in the deposition transcripts.  The whole nine yards is in play in the trial deposition: evidence authentication, objections, responses to objections, etc.  The court then picks over the deposition transcript and makes determinations as to admissibility, objections, etc. in its review.

If they sound like long, tedious affairs, they fucking are.

You know what makes them worse?  Fucking Lawyers.

But it got me thinking over the weekend, as we prepared for round 2, as to the types of lawyers you tend to run into at depositions.  Opposing counsel’s behavior wasn’t out of the ordinary.  It was just more pronounced and combative.  He was an Obstructionist.  He could have just as easily been a Buddy Guy, a Blowhard, a Rabbit, or a Wildcard.

Oh, you don’t know what any of that means?  Well, that’s cause I just made up the fucking labels.  It’s what I do.  But generally, those are the types of lawyers you’ll run into in a deposition…hey, can you guess what I’m about to do?  That’s right.

I’m about to spend two days talking about the 5 Lawyers You Meet In Depositions.

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Rough and Tumble: How Not to Deal With Opposing Counsel

Recently I received a brief in a matter from opposing counsel.  It took me somewhat by surprise to find a petition, brief, and twelve attached exhibits on my desk on a Monday morning, since I had spoken with opposing counsel just the week before in regards to the case and we had engaged in some settlement discussions.  Without going into a large amount of detail, and in order to preserve my client’s confidences, the issue here is a petition to open a default judgment on their end, which requires (1) promptly filing the petition, (2) stating a reasonable excuse for the delay, and (3) alleging facts in support of a meritorious defense.  On those facts, the insurer’s attorney and I were having productive conversations about liability, default judgments, the hassle and expense of either fighting to open the judgment on their end or domesticating our judgment on our end, and were beginning to get close to coming to a numbers agreement.

Then the motherfucker, without warning, filed his petition and brief.  Thus hell was unleashed upon the court.  Goddamn these soulless insurance defense attorneys, if they’d just stop fighting and fucking pay me we’d get along a lot better.

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