In this article, an Orange County employment lawyer sheds light on some of the strategies the counsel for the defense might use during deposition to twist your testimony to his benefit.
Misstatement of the Testimony
Your Orange County employment law firm attorney will be watching carefully to prevent counsel for the defense from slightly revising your answer to a question so that it serves his purpose. The following question-and-answer session can serve as an illustration:
Q. Was there someone at (insert defendant’s name) who behaved in an offensively sexual manner toward you?
A. There was. (Name) was continually staring at my backside and my breasts, and he persisted in telling sexually explicit jokes.
Q. Was there anything else that he did that you found offensive?
A. I don’t think so.
Q. How often did he look at you in that manner?
Q. Can you give me an estimate? Five times? More?
A. It was continual. I can’t give a number.
Q. What jokes did he tell?
A. I really can’t tell you. As soon as I realized that they were off-color, I tried to tune them out. I don’t like listening to such things.
Q. Then, can we conclude that your charges are that (Name) looked at you in what you thought was a sexual way, and told jokes that you thought were sexual on an unspecified number of instances?
A. I suppose.
Q. Was there any other offensive behavior that supports your complaint?
A. I don’t believe so.
The way in which the defense attorney rephrased the client’s answer almost negated the severity of the offense and the gravity of the complaint. The following is an illustration of a more effective response:
Q. Then, can we conclude that the actual substance of your charges are that (Name) looked at you in what you thought was a sexual way and told jokes that you thought were sexual on an unspecified number of instances?
A. On the contrary; that is not what I said at all. I said that the way he was staring at me, particularly at my backside and breasts, was sexual and offensive to me. Further, the jokes he told were also explicitly sexual. This is not a matter of perception. I’m telling you what he did, not what I thought he was doing.
A watchful Orange County employment law firm attorney will raise an objection of “misstates the witness’ testimony” with regard to the summarizing question. However, it is important that you take great care to state your answer unequivocably and carefully weigh the defense counsel’s summation so any paraphrasing does not change the true meaning and intent of what you said.
Leave Nothing to Chance
Your Orange County employment lawyer is here to help you prepare for your deposition. Call Daily Aljian LLP at 949-861-2524 today.