Academy of Chiropractic Personal Injury & Primary Spine Care Program

Quickie Consult 225

From the Desk of Dr. Mark Studin
Academy of Chiropractic
Preamble: Many of the issues I bring to you are very small, yet each issue is just that, an issue. If you take care of the small issues, then you will be able to build and more importantly, focus on the bigger issues...a larger practice and more family time.

“Depositions”

One of the reasons I still take some cases as expert is so I can still be "in the process" instead of sitting on the sidelines and reporting "on the process." It helps me keep it "real and relevant" because I both have my "successes and ass kickings," just like everyone else. One of the things that I am most proud of is that I have made more mistakes than you and continue to do so. The difference is that I unabashedly write about them so we can all win individually and chiropractic can win as a profession. 
 
Yesterday, I had a 5 hour deposition that lasted 50 minutes! I would love to say that I was that good and they were brief because they didn't want me to destroy their case because I am the king of personal injury. On the other hand, I could have been that bad, so they got what they wanted out of me very quickly as I was beyond stupid. I choose to think the former because we all think we are great and I am no different than you. The truth is that according to the lawyers, it wasn't a great case and they wanted to limit their financial exposure for paying the court reporter. So much for being great. It goes back to the prime rule, it's always about the money.
 
What I have learned over the years about depositions is that 90% of your answers fall into 3 categories:
1.  Yes
2.  No
3.  Please repeat the question
 
You have to understand that your testimony in a deposition is generated by the opposing counsel and not the one representing you or your patient's interest. They are looking for either sound bites to hold against you or are exploring avenues to expose in court that were previously not known in order to help them win. An opposing counsel could care less about the unfortunate plight of an injured person, their families, jobs or any other thing. They represent their client who is either an insurance company or a private party and they are paid to win, no matter the tactics used, as long as a judge allows them to.
 
Understand that every word in your deposition is captured on paper in a transcript and every grunt, word and syllable becomes public record. If you have to answer questions, do so in no more than 1 sentence as the goal is to keep it very short and cryptic. Do not expound unless the lawyer bringing you in requests that you to do so prior to the deposition. 
 
The main strategy is for the opposition to have nothing new after the deposition, nothing that they didn't have prior to the deposition. All of your reports should have spoken volumes with nothing new in addition. The only way you will look the fool or invalidate yourself as expert is if you talk too much. Yes, no, or please repeat the question, and 1 sentence answers at the most.

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