Ava Hernandez joins Steve Wood, Ph.D & Bill Kanasky, Jr., Ph.D. to discuss competing priorities at deposition prep. The client, attorney, and witness are all involved at different levels in the deposition prep though sometimes the goals for each aren't aligned and may be in conflict with one another. The group discusses the witness's perspective and how their brain is wired to survive which, if not properly trained, may lead to answering questions in a non-ideal way. The attorney may be focused on defending their client and may not fully understand how a witness should be prepared in order for them to deliver their best performance. And the client might also be advocating for defending themselves and not aware of what the purpose of the deposition is (hint: its not to win the case) which is to get to the other side of the deposition without making things worse.
To address these competing priorities, it's important to get alignment on the objectives before any deposition prep starts and to invest the time with the witness to evaluate, assess, and address any emotional issues or concerns that the witness may have to ensure they can be successful with the training and prep. The witness's needs and perspective must be front and center and attorneys and clients should treat them as an integral part of the process so they understand their role and why the legal team is asking them to do what they are asking for.