Winning Before Trial: 10 Keys to Winning Depositions | Professional Education Group

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Winning Before Trial

10 Keys to Winning Depositions

Dominic J. Gianna and Lisa A. Marcy

Winning trials follow winning depositions. Whether you are experienced, or new to the profession, in one action-packed day you will gain new insights and strategies in the art and science of taking and defending depositions.

Dominic Gianna, one of America’s master advocates and outstanding teachers of trial advocacy, persuasion and trial techniques, believes that CLE should be fun, interesting and immediately useful in your practice. He uses numerous slides and videos, taking you through the 10 Keys to Winning Depositions; he demonstrates his “surgical” approach to depositions; he illustrates how to use “the rules” to take immediate control; and how to obtain complete closure.

Lisa Marcy has enjoyed over 25 years of practicing law in the public and private sectors. She serves as Co-Director and Faculty of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy’s Gulf Coast Regional Trial and Deposition Programs and as faculty on NITA’s National Programs. She is Co-Director and Faculty at the Louisiana State University School of Law’s Trial Advocacy Training Program and has served as Leader and faculty for many ABA trial training programs.

Gianna & Marcy illustrates three power steps to:

  • gather facts
  • obtain admissions and
  • test theory.

Learn to open and close trial doors. Understand how to exhaust a witness’s knowledge of a topic. Gianna unveils the one effective way of dealing with a recalcitrant witness and obstreperous opposing counsel. Understand how to make and handle objections. Learn to make documents “talk.” Watch a witness be set up for trial impeachment. Learn the language of closure. Prepare a witness to handle every loaded question.

Participants in this program will gain new insights into actively defending a deposition, learn the ethical limits of witness preparation and persuasion and understand the “three Cs” of winning trial presentation. This educational, entertaining and lively program will prepare you for winning your next deposition and winning your next trial. Guaranteed.

Program Outline & Schedule (6 hours including 1 ethics hour)

[Part I: 90 minutes]

Key 1: The Four Advocacy Purposes of Taking a Deposition

  • Jury Thinking—Preparing the Closing Argument
  • Trial Advocacy in a Nutshell
  • The Magic of the Three Cs
  • Themes, Theories, Words & Phrases
  • The Four Purposes:
    • Information gathering
    • Obtaining admissions
    • Theory testing
    • Credibility judgment
  • Charting the deposition—The Organization

Key 2: Using the “Surgical Approach”—Opening Up and Closing Doors

  • Using Depositions in Trial
  • The Magic of the Simple Direct Sentence/Question
  • Inviting and Opening up the Witness
  • The Language of Closure
    • Exhausting the witness’s knowledge
    • Five ways to get “anything else”
    • The power of listening
    • The power of silence
    • Non-verbal communication
  • Closing the door

Key 3: Obtaining Admissions—Cross Examination in Depositions

  • The Impact Beginning: Avoiding the Standard Stuff
  • Begin at the End. Why?
  • The Keys to Deposition Cross Examination
  • Setting Trial Impeachments in Stone
    • The rules of the game
    • The technique of the 3 Cs
    • Making it stick

[15 minute break]

[Part II: 90 minutes]

Key 4: Taking and Keeping Control of the Witness

  • Testing the Witness
  • Handling the Recalcitrant Witness
  • “How Do You Know That?”
  • Keeping and Staying on Track
  • Using the “Always Win” Cross Examination Question
  • The Three Rules to Unobjectionable Questions

Key 5: Taking and Keeping Control of the Opposition

  • Training the Opposition
  • Handling the “Mature” Opposition
  • Handling the “Obstreperous” Lawyer
  • Taking the “Obstreperous” Lawyer Down
  • Handling Objections
  • To Court or Not to Court? And How!

Key 6: The 10 Rules and How to Use Them

Key 7: Making Documents “Talk” — Preparation of the Exhibits

  • Using Exhibits as an Outline
  • Repeating the Story
  • Handling Exhibit “Objections”
  • Authenticating Documents for Trial


[Part III: 90 minutes]

The Ethical Limits of Preparation and Persuasion

Key 8: Powerful Witness Preparation —Powerful Witness Presentation

  • Five Rules to Effective Preparation
  • Training the Witness for Attack
  • The Mock Deposition

[Part IV: 90 minutes]

Key 9: Non-Defensive Defending

  • The Power Defense
  • When and How to Object
  • Making Valid “Form” Objections
  • To Counsel or Not?
    • Preparing the Witness for Three Critical Questions
    • Handling the “Loaded” Questions
    • Handling the Unprepared Lawyer

Key 10: Taking and Defending a Powerful Expert Deposition

  • Expert Admissions & How to Get Them
  • Using the “Bouncing Ball” Method
  • “How Do You Know That?”
  • The Always Win Expert Cross Examination
    • Identifying and removing the power
    • Marco Polo and Genghis Kahn
    • Expert opinions defined
    • Always win cross examination questions
  • Using Technology to Win
  • Video Deposition Skills—Taking and Defending the Persuasive Video Deposition
    • Five rules to the successful video direct examination
    • Three cross examination rules for video cross examination
  • The “Technical” of TV



Unconditional Guarantee
If you are not convinced that your understanding of the course topic has
improved after completion of any
 P.E.G.® seminar, we will refund your course tuition.