If you are represented by the right trust or estate litigation lawyer, he or she will have taken some time to prepare you for the deposition. Your lawyer may have taken a half day or a whole day to prepare you for the deposition questions, not just had a brief conversation in the parking lot right before the deposition. If you are prepared, you will then feel more comfortable and you will do a good job. You will be able to take breaks during the deposition and ask your lawyer how you’re doing. While lawyers cannot coach you on what to say, your lawyer certainly can give you input about your performance.
If you’ve been prepared, then chances are, you’re going to do well.
Many deponents are not prepared by their lawyers for whatever reason. They generally don’t fare as well. They end up giving long narrative answers that lead to what I call “rabbit trails.” Sometimes those rabbit trails end up gleaning good information for the case. There’s a good outcome and a bad outcome to a deposition.
You want to be on the good side of the ledger. You want to be prepared, answer specific questions to the best of your ability, truthfully, and know how to respond to the questions you don’t know. Somebody who is not prepared may volunteer too much information—information that is not even being asked for, which may lead to information that the opposing lawyer is seeking.
Be careful when you’re in a deposition. Make sure you’re prepared before you go. Hopefully for you, it’s a good outcome.