“Failing to prepare for a deposition”

Have you testified yet at a deposition?  If so, were you a witness, a victim or were you a Defendant? Depositions are the testimony of a party or witness in a civil or criminal proceeding taken before trial. The deposition, because it generally is taken with counsel present and under oath, becomes a significant evidentiary document.  Depositions are commonly used in civil litigation and commonly take place after the exchange of interrogatories and requests for production of documents, because the evidence obtained from the latter often provides foundation for the questions posed to the deponent.

“The difference in preparing for the first deposition and the one-hundredth is this: nothing.” ~ Ronald M. Sandgrund

I’ve given civil-related depositions on SWAT and K9 incidents as a Defendant and as an expert witness in K9 cases.  I’ve read many more depositions involving K9-related incidents as a case consultant and expert witness.  Unfortunately, I’m sometimes disappointed in handlers and supervisors as I read their depositions as it becomes quite obvious to me they failed to prepare and/or weren’t properly prepared by their counsel.

“Failure to prepare is preparing to fail.”  – John Wooden

George T. Williams is a Police Training Specialist and the Director of Training for Cutting Edge Training, LLC.  He wrote:  Preparing for your deposition depends minimally upon three factors.  First, understand the overall theory of the plaintiffs and how they will attack your testimony. Second, know your policy, force laws, and training.  Last, know the facts of the case as you perceived them at the time, and understand the difference between the testimony you are used to, and the very different world of your new role as “defendant” in a civil case.

“The more thoroughly you prepare, the more likely the deposition will help you to accurately convey your case and prepare you for trial.”  ~ George T. Williams

I recommend reading an article by George T. Williams titled “Preparing for Your First Deposition.”

Take care, be safe and always prepare properly for your deposition…

Bill Lewis II

This “reason” was originally shared on August 5, 2013

“Trouble” isn’t always related to incidents or predicaments that directly result in lawsuits, claims or discipline. Often times, our actions or inactions that are missed, deliberately overlooked or downplayed may lead to nothing or can later lead to mistakes or bad incidents with minimal to serious repercussions.  A reason we get in trouble can be minor or simple at first glance – or even serious – but a combination of these factors can often have disastrous consequences.   

These “reasons” are provided periodically as a collection in-progress based on actual incidents and real attitudes as well as feedback received at HITS, the CNCA Training Institute, and the “Canine Liability 360” classes.  As Gordon Graham says, “We haven’t found new ways to get in trouble.” So, as the list progresses, you may or may not read something familiar to you that you have personally experienced or seen others encounter. If you encountered or heard about it, did you learn from it?