CLE Course: How to Prepare Your Client for Deposition

Considering that less than 5% of cases go to trial, deposition is now one of the most crucial aspects of litigation.  For your anxious client, the deposition is almost the functional equivalent of their “day in court.”

One of the most useful subjects, both for lawyers and their clients, has been preparing to give testimony at a deposition. Proper preparation of the witness can reduce anxiety, improve performance and dramatically affect litigation outcomes.[1]                   – David Newdorf

More than likely, the deposition will also be the first time that the opposition will meet and evaluate your client and formulate strategy and tactical decisions on how to resolve the case.  The opposition’s goal during deposition is to uncover and exploit weaknesses and inconsistencies in your client’s testimony and case.  At this crucial juncture in the litigation one mistake or wrong approach can severely damage your client’s case.


If you need a refresher on preparing your client for deposition – or just need to pick up a few fine points – we have recently added a very informative course featuring San Francisco litigator David Newdorf.  In the course, Mr. Newdorf provides numerous tactical and practical points on how to best prepare your client for the tough questions they will face during deposition.  The main topics covered include deposition strategy, preparing your client for deposition day and minimizing the information that you client provides to the opposition.  To access this online CLE course, please click the following link: How to Prepare Your Client for Deposition.

Further issues addressed include:

  • Preparation time
  • The day of the preparation session
  • The admonishment
  • Going over the deposition mechanics with the client
  • The client’s counter-productive strategy
  • Key rules
  • The five perfect answers
  • “I don’t know” vs. “I don’t recall”
  • Re-phrasing the question
  • Speculation
  • Multiple depositions
  • Discussing key documents with the client
  • Privileged information
  • Prior statements
  • The Q & A process

David Newdorf has been a California civil litigator since 1994.  He has practiced at O’Melveny & Myers LLP, the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office and at Newdorf Legal since 2008.  Mr. Newdorf represents individuals, businesses and public entities in trials, arbitrations and appeals.  His practice focuses on commercial and government litigation.  He has taken numerous cases to trial in state and federal court, handled hundreds of lawsuits, arbitrations and mediations, and briefed and argued major appeals in the California Court of Appeal and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.  As a former trial team leader in the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office, Mr. Newdorf handled high profile cases and supervised lawyers handling hundreds of active litigation matters.

This CLE course on preparing clients for deposition is currently accredited in the following states:

  • Alaska (AK)
  • Arizona (AZ)
  • California (CA)
  • Colorado (CO)
  • Connecticut (CT)
  • Delaware (DE)
  • District of Columbia (DC)
  • Florida (FL)
  • Georgia (GA)
  • Illinois (IL)
  • Maryland (MD)
  • Massachusetts (MA)
  • Michigan (MI)
  • New Jersey (NJ)
  • New York (NY)
  • South Dakota (SD)
  • Texas (TX)

Attorney Credits offers continuing legal education (CLE) in Texas and around the country.  For more information about continuing legal education (CLE) in Texas, please click the following link: Texas CLE.

[1] Video Class: How to Prepare Your Client for Deposition