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How to Damage Your Case at Your Deposition – by Justin Bieber
As you may have seen on the internet, video footage of Justin Bieber’s recent deposition has now surfaced. He was sued by a photographer who claims that Mr. Bieber told his bodyguard to beat him up. The young pop star’s behavior at his deposition is an excellent example of how not to act when you are being deposed. Here are six ways to harm your case, as demonstrated by Mr. Bieber:
- Be unprepared. It is obvious from Mr. Bieber’s testimony that he is unfamiliar with the important legal issues in the case. To avoid harming your case, you must sit down with your lawyer beforehand and understand the issues that are likely to come up and how you should address them.
- Interrupt others. Everything that is said during a deposition is taken down by a court reporter. It is important not to speak over one another, so that the record is clear.
- Be arrogant. Although Mr. Bieber was completely out of his element in the deposition, that did not stop him from being condescending and arrogant to everyone in the room. Judges and juries are people too, and if they see that you are acting that way, they are going to penalize you when it comes time for a verdict.
- Make inappropriate jokes. In his deposition, Mr. Bieber makes several jokes that are just not appropriate for a deposition. In fact, calling them “jokes” might be too kind. They are more like smart-aleck remarks. But even a well-timed and self-deprecating joke can be portrayed by the other side as proof that you don’t take the case seriously. You do not want to give that impression in a deposition.
- Avoid answering questions. A deposition is not a conversation. It is an opportunity for one side to ask questions of the other side under oath. As a deponent, you will have a legal obligation to answer the questions posed to you truthfully and completely. When you avoid answering questions, you increase your legal fees (because the deposition takes longer), and make it look as though you have something to hide.
- Pick a lawyer who’s a jerk. The behavior of Mr. Bieber’s lawyer in the deposition is nearly as bad as the behavior of Mr. Bieber himself. Some lawyers (and, unfortunately, some clients) seem to believe that being a jerk during litigation helps a client’s case. It doesn’t. Lawyers who are unprofessional waste legal fees, harm the image of the legal profession, and hurt your case.
A deposition is your chance to show that you are serious, prepared, and a good witness. Giving a good deposition during litigation in Phoenix will strengthen the value of your case. Acting like Justin Bieber in a deposition will harm your case. Maybe Mr. Bieber has the money for extra lawyer fees and a higher settlement payment. My clients don’t have that luxury, and that is why I prepare them carefully before we attend depositions.
Contact an experienced Phoenix litigation attorney at Gunderson Denton and Peterson to represent your interests.
Written By Brad Denton – Gunderson, Denton & Peterson, P.C.
Mesa Office: 1930 N. Arboleda, Suite 201
Mesa, Arizona 85213
Phoenix Office: 40 N. Central Avenue, Suite 1400-1532
Phoenix, AZ 85004
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