I am off to depositions this morning. Depositions are a discovery tool in which the lawyer asks questions of a witness, usually the husband or wife on the other side of the case, under oath. A reporter takes down the examination and produces a transcript that may be used at trial.

They usually start with the lawyer saying something like “I am not trying to trick you. If I ask a question you don’t understand just tell me and I will rephrase it.” Then the lawyer will begin asking questions that try to trick you.

The single best tip I can give you a deposition is this. Repeat the question in the form of a sentence, give the answer and then stop and wait for the next question.

If the lawyer says “Where were you on the night of July 14th?” You say “On the night of July 14th I was … at home watching television.”

This will give you time to think, focus your answer and prevent you from rambling.