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Nolo's Deposition Handbook (1st Edition) [Paperback]

Paul Bergman , Albert J. Moore
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)

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Paperback, October 1999 --  

Book Description

October 1999 0873375386 978-0873375382 1st
Getting deposed can seem as mysterious and complicated as the tango. What are the right moves? The subtle signals to send? Is it possible to make it through without getting stepped on? The new, easy-to-follow guide to the entire deposition process, The Deposition Handbook is one guide that won't leave users sweaty-handed.

The Deposition Handbook addresses witnesses, parties, experts and non-experts who will have their deposition taken; providing all the information, tips and instructions they need whether or not they are represented by a lawyer. Packed with concrete suggestions and examples, the book explains how to arrange a convenient date, prepare for the deposition and respond to questions with aplomb. The Deposition Handbook even includes the three "golden rules" for answering questions and points out the trick questions lawyers often use to try to influence testimony. Finally, the book discusses the questions one can refuse to answer and how to testify at a videotaped deposition.

The Deposition Handbook provides a separate chapter for experts, which explains the expert's involvement in helping the lawyer to prepare for the deposition. It also covers how the expert should prepare for the deposition and answer questions by the deposing lawyer; and how the other side will try to challenge the expert's opinion and establish that the expert is biased during the deposition.

The Deposition Handbook also addresses anyone who is a pro-se--either a person who wishes to defend her own deposition or the deposition of another person; or to take a deposition herself. Once again, the book explains, with numerous concrete examples and suggestions, how to: schedule and prepare for the deposition; question the witness, make and respond to objections, respond to improper behavior by the other side's lawyer, depose the other side's expert witness, take a videotaped deposition and depose a witness favorable to his or her case to preserve deposition testimony for use at trial.

Written by two UCLA law professors and attorneys, The Deposition Handbook enables anyone who has been deposed to sail through the deposition process smoothly, confidently--and with only one left foot.

Editorial Reviews Review

Court cases are never as quick and tidy as television dramas would have us believe. In fact, most civil disputes are settled long before a judge has a chance to pound a gavel. That's why pretrial fact-finding procedures such as depositions play an increasingly important role in legal quarrels. In fact, it's not uncommon for a deposition to be the only testimony given. All of this explains why Nolo's Deposition Handbook can be such a useful resource. For the uninitiated, depositions are the process that enable either party in a lawsuit to question the other, as well as other witnesses, under oath before a trial begins. To prepare readers, authors (and attorneys) Paul Bergman and Albert Moore do a commendable job of dealing with real-life issues, such as what to do--and not to do--in preparation for a deposition, what to do if you're asked to bring documents to a deposition, how far you can be required to travel, and how to deal with trick questions that many lawyers love to ask. Three "Golden Rules" are also offered to help people through the deposition process. Put simply, the rules are to listen to the entire question and then answer only that question; answer truthfully and completely; and if you don't understand a question, don't answer it. The tone of the entire book acknowledges--without being condescending--that legal arenas are an area where novices feel quite underqualified. For example, the authors warn against engaging in seemingly harmless chit-chat with a companion before and during breaks in a deposition. The reason is one that most non-lawyers would be hard-pressed to imagine: Deposing counsel can ask the companion to reveal what the deponent said. Of course, readers intrigued by that line of thinking will thoroughly enjoy the last half of the book, which is devoted to those interested in representing themselves in legal matters. --John Russell


Nolo has excellent materials if you're in a do-it-yourself legal mood. (Houston Chronicle 20090101)

Nolo publications are known for their clarity and reader friendliness. (New Orleans Times-Picayune 20090101)

Nolo publicationsÖ guide people simply through the how, when, where and why of the law. (The Washington Post 20090101) --This text refers to the Unknown Binding edition.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Nolo; 1st edition (October 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0873375386
  • ISBN-13: 978-0873375382
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 6.9 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,195,112 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Paul Bergman is a Professor of Law at the UCLA School of Law and a recipient of a University Distinguished Teaching Award. His recent books include Reel Justice: The Courtroom Goes to the Movies (Andrews & McMeel); Trial Advocacy: Inferences, Arguments, Techniques (with Moore and Binder, West Publishing Co.); and Represent Yourself In Court and The Criminal Law Handbook (both with Sara Berman, Nolo). He has also published numerous articles in law journals, and regularly gives presentations on how law and lawyers are portrayed in film.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Complete Text and Handy Introductory Guide July 21, 2004
As a monitor of the information desk at the Harold Washington Library, Chicago's main library, I regularly make referrals to people looking for all kinds of information. Whenever I'm asked about books on depositions, the first one that comes to mind is "The Deposition Handbook: A Guide To Help You Give A Winning Deposition," by Virginia A. Lathan.

But recently I also came across this book, "Nolo's Deposition Handbook," and I'm thoroughly impressed by the in-depth information it contains on all aspects of the deposition process. Not only is the book well written, but it also has a useful glossary for readily looking up legal terms. It also contains numerous examples of what the author is trying to convey. Additionally, it's well indexed. I particularly found the appendices helpful, because they contain excerpts from the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and also web site addresses for obtaining information about discovery rules for particular states. I think this book would be a tremendous asset for parties to a lawsuit, people who represent themselves in court, and even lawyers who need to refresh themselves on the many aspects of depositions.

However, because the book is so thorough, I will still recommend people check out Virginia Lathan's book. Her simple-and-concise book reminds me of "Cliff Notes," those handy little pamphlets that highlight key points and make it easier to navigate your way through the voluminous writings of complete texts. For that reason, I suggest that you consider purchasing both books, because when thy're used in unison, you'll have all the reference books you need to help you give a winning deposition.

As a matter of fact, in one of his other books, "Represent Yourself in Court" (2nd edition), Paul Bergman highly praised Virginia Lathan's "Deposition Handbook."
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars outline for fast pace reader October 14, 2002
By A Customer
As typical from Nolo press writers, this is a very effective book well structured and with useful materials.
The framework given is very practical and applicable. I strongly recommend for anyone involved in a deposition.
Just to give the proof, it helped me to face 3 days of deposition by a nasty attorney as under handed as you can get....I survived it.
Thanks to the authors and in all cases, be prepared !
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Jhs
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The two authors are law professors at UCLA, and their talent for weaving essential content into mnemonic, entertaining bites shines in this book. I'm not personally familiar with the law faculty at UCLA, but most likely they don't retain the ignorant and misinformed, in turn implying that these folks must know what they are writing about.

General ideas are followed by nutshell examples that fix the concept in mind in a way easily remembered. Names in the examples are simply charming. For example, there is Jerry Atric and a wrongfully discharged employee named Mal Treeted. We also hear the brief story of a software contractor named Evan Elpus suing Mackrosoft and deposing vice president Jenny Daynow and the President, Noah Way. Stupid, yes, and also funny.

I'm mostly interested in the single chapter specifically for expert witnesses, easily worth the price of the entire book for me. For example, the tip about preparation for a deposition cautions about what documents to review and not review. Anything you review to refresh your recollection is discoverable. Documents otherwise not available to the other side may thus become available if you carelessly refer to them in preparation for a deposition. Small detail, but potentially vital. Generally, any documents in your file you bring to a deposition are subject to discovery and the other attorney is apt to have copies made of the entire file. Other advice is to keep a chronological file so you can keep dates and times easily reportable. There are many more nuggets for expert witnesses, although this is only one chapter.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great on Logistics; Short on Strategy October 21, 2010
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This book will certainly assuage the fears of unrepresented parties or witnesses faced with the daunting task of getting deposed by an attorney. It explains what a depositions is, how it will proceed, and some of the boilerplate content of the deposition itself. For example, the usual admotions are covered such as letting the questiner finish the question before responding, along with some common background questions such as eduactional background. Knowing what to expect ahead of time will surely make the deponant feel more comfortable in the actual deposition.

My only criticism of this guide, is that it's a little weak on advice for the actual guts of the deposition. You get 30 pages of common sense tips and that's it. Understand the question, provide a clear answer, and don't let them restate your testimony by putting words in your mouth. Any questions? Yeah, about 5,000! It's a start though, and the book does provide coverage on a lot of other helpful topics like taking depositions, defending depositions, and the discovery process generally.

Overall, I'd recommend this to anyone faced with a deposition who's wondering, "what the heck is gonna happen there?" For strategy, I'd look elsewhere.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Nolo's Deposition handbook
I needed a deposition guide fast, I was a little nervous, but I have quite a few "Nolo" guide books, so I knew I could trust the content. Read more
Published 18 months ago by pk
4.0 out of 5 stars Wrong cover
The book is great. Unfortunatly the Kindle edition has the wrong book cover attached to it. My Kindle thinks the book is "Tax Deductions for Professionals," which seems like a good... Read more
Published 24 months ago by Pen Name
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Resource for Witnesses
An excellent book that continues Nolo's tradition of explaining the mysteries of legal proceedings to non-lawyers. Read more
Published on April 3, 2012 by D. Shane Read
1.0 out of 5 stars outdated (jurassic park format) we are in 2011
Please, let me expend my money on your products, don't force me to buy from somebody else.
I have to decide to convert your version (jurassic park format) to ebook or buy... Read more
Published on June 12, 2011 by malvan
4.0 out of 5 stars posing an issue
This is an interesting book from two aspects. First, you may wish to read it if you are likely to be deposed and want to know what's going on, how to deal with the back-and-forth... Read more
Published on May 20, 2011 by imu ilu
4.0 out of 5 stars Good primer for those with little experience with depositions
Nolo Press has a good assortment of books on legal topics aimed at non-lawyers. This book explores the ins and outs of depositions. Read more
Published on May 14, 2011 by Edward Durney
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful, Handy and Informative
Nolo's Deposition Handbook is written using a format that makes is a very useful tool. It's easy to read and use. The glossary containing legal terms is invaluable in my opinion. Read more
Published on May 4, 2011 by Ty Hyderally
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Primer but not Indispensable
This book provides a lot of information but not always sage advice (i.e., advice as a practicing attorney that I would agree with). Read more
Published on March 24, 2011 by Mr. Truthteller
5.0 out of 5 stars Good for lawyers and laypersons
This is a very thorough and lucid handling of a complicated subject -- how to prepare for and survive a deposition in a legal case. Read more
Published on December 8, 2010 by J. B Kraft
5.0 out of 5 stars A good reference
I've spent a little too much of my life as an expert witness, so when I leafed through this and didn't find anything egregiously wrong or cringe-inducing, I was impressed. Read more
Published on November 23, 2010 by Gone2lunch
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