A deposition occurs when an expert ophthalmology witness is called to give their sworn, but out-of-court testimony in front of the opposing counsel. This is done as a way to gather information that may be pertinent to the case before the trial. Everything said by the witness during the deposition can be used in court once the trial begins which deems it necessary for a lawyer to speak to their witness before deposition starts.
Long before the scheduled date of deposition, training the expert witness must begin. One wrong or false statement made during their testimony and the case can go downhill. These are the necessary steps your lawyer will take to prepare the expert ophthalmology witness for your case:
Even Seasoned/Experienced Witnesses Need Preparation
It is all too common mistake lawyers make when hiring an experienced expert witness. Training and preparation are still necessary even if the witness has years of experience. While preparing it is the lawyer’s chance to get to know the witness and to give them advice on how to handle opposing counsel on the day of deposition.
Never assume that just because an expert witness has years of experience they can skirt through a deposition without preparing for it.
Review Previous Depositions
Your lawyer should take the time to review transcriptions taken from a past deposition where the same expert witness was involved. The transcripts are the perfect resource for finding their weaknesses, the preferred style of the witness, and the best way to approach them.
Schedule A Pre-Deposition
Lawyers and their expert witnesses should be on the same page before the actual deposition. This is best achieved by scheduling a pre-deposition where the witness and lawyer can talk about the case and get comfortable with each other. Although it is best to keep in mind that the opposing counsel can request for the transcripts of the pre-deposition for their use.
Advice To Give Only Absolute Answers
The questioning during the deposition is very different from the actual trial. The opposing side has a great deal of leeway when asking questions and might try to provoke the witness into saying something that can incriminate themselves, your lawyer, or yourself. As part of the preparation process, the lawyer will advise witnesses to answer in absolutes and to be confident in the information they provide.
Discuss “Housekeeping” Issues
As part of the process, the lawyer must inform the expert witness about the necessary housekeeping issues. Everything from the hours expected, dress codes, attorneys present, if a video is required, and even parking spaces should be discussed in advance to ensure that deposition day is less stressful and hectic.
Trust Your Lawyer
As long as your lawyer is capable and competent they can successfully prepare the expert witness for the deposition without any difficulties. The expert witness is a valuable asset for your defense and more so when they are prepped and have previous deposition experience. Rest assured your lawyer and the witness will work together to ensure your case will hold up in court.