Tricks Lawyers Use During Depositions in Business and Finance Cases

tricks lawyers use in depositions

Depositions are an important part of the discovery process in legal disputes related to business and finance matters. During depositions, lawyers use various tactics to try to get the upper hand. Being aware of common tricks lawyers use in depositions can help defend yourself and your company’s interests.

Leading Questions

Lawyers will frequently ask leading questions, which are phrased to suggest a desired response. For example: “You knew this would violate the non-compete clause, correct?” Take care not to simply agree without fully considering the question.

Complex Multi-Part Questions

Lawyers may intentionally ask convoluted questions containing multiple parts or complex terminology. Don’t feel rushed to answer right away. Ask for clarification if needed.

Implying the Witness is Lying

Comments meant to imply you are being dishonest are simply a bullying tactic. Stick to the facts and do not get defensive.

Attacking Credibility

Your credibility may be questioned based on your role, experience, or knowledge. Point to your credentials and be honest about the extent of your expertise.

Taking Documents Out of Context

Lawyers might selectively present documents to imply wrongdoing out of context. Ask to see the full document if necessary to refute misleading interpretations.

Asking About Unrelated Accounting Practices

You may be asked about accounting practices even if that is not your direct area. Note which specific practices you can and cannot speak to based on your role.

Pushing for Admissions on Company Finances

Even non-accountants may face questions about company financials. Clarify you do not have the background to make definitive statements if applicable.

How to Defend Yourself

  • Listen carefully and fully understand each question before answering
  • Ask for clarification on anything confusing
  • Do not speculate – say you don’t know if unsure
  • Be ready to object to inappropriate questions
  • Tell the truth even if admitting mistakes

Proper preparation and knowing your rights helps avoid being caught off-guard during depositions in business and financial disputes. Do not let tricks lawyers use in depositions pressure you into making damaging admissions.

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