Deposition Arrangements

AuthorLeonard H. Bucklin
12. Deposition Arrangements
Most attorneys waste personal time or staff time scheduling depositions with oppos-
ing counsel. Until the usual telephone tag is completed, the attorney has to keep his cal-
endar open for the days “our side” has told “their side” from which to chose an open
date. Then often what happens is that after everything seems agreed, a date has been
set, your notice of deposition has gone out, and you have arranged your next month’s
schedule accordingly, opposing counsel calls back to say they have an impossible con-
flict, and the whole cycle repeats.
I have found that a simple form cuts down the time waste. The form practically elimi-
nates multiple changes of date by adverse counsel.
Fax this tab’s form to the adverse attorney, call to let him know you are sending it,
and ask him to fill in the blanks and fax it back to you. This quick call is a lot less time-
consuming than asking, “What dates do you have open in September, George?” and
waiting for George to review his appointment schedule while you stay on the phone.
§12.1 How It Works
In item #3 of this DEPOSITION AVAILABILITY COORDINATION form, you fill in a
couple of months during which you want to take the deposition. Then when you get the
form back, your secretary can coordinate with your schedule and set up the deposition.
It is difficult for the other side to blandly respond that he is busy every day in the
months you have suggested. After he responds, he is committed in a writing which can
be shown to the court.
If upon receipt you immediately fax your notice of deposition, the other side is not
prone to suddenly have an excuse why the date should be changed. If opposing counsel
later asks for a date change, you can say you have already extended one professional
courtesy in setting the deposition on a date chosen by opposing counsel.
If a date change is insisted upon, give him a second chance by sending a new form.
You will receive the second date in writing, and now you are in a good position not to
change the date of the deposition if they pull the same stunt, saying the second date no
longer works. Just say you are not changing to a third date because you have already
provided two professional courtesies. Say you will be taking the deposition on the sec-
ond scheduled date with or without him.
In 15 years of using this form and procedure, I never have seen an adverse attorney
with enough courage to make a motion to the court to prevent a deposition on a date he
said in writing was available for the deposition.
(Rev. 5, 8/09)
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§12.2 Instructions to Staff
behind the tab for Deposition Arrangements.
Use it anytime you want to schedule a deposi-
tion with an adverse attorney.
INSERT FORM. Place a copy of the
ING DEPOSITION next in this section. This
form should always be sent in advance to the
person who will be videotaping the deposition you have scheduled.
§12.3 Stipulations at Depositions with Exhibits
When exhibits are many or large in size, or you for other reasons want to keep the
originals you brought to the deposition, then dictate an oral stipulation into the deposi-
tion records and have the other attorneys agree to it on the record. Use the first follow-
ing stipulation to allow each attorney to keep his original exhibit brought to the deposi-
tion. Use the second following stipulation to avoid the expense of copies if you have the
original or already have a copy of the exhibit.
It is stipulated that:
The originals of any deposition exhibit will be kept by the attorney who
brought it to the deposition;
The attorney will keep the exhibit to the time of trial and make it available
both then and also at reasonable times before trial for inspection or copying;
The court reporter will only keep the original exhibit long enough to make a
copy of the exhibit to accompany the original deposition transcript.
It is stipulated that:
The attorneys present at this deposition have copies of the exhibits or will
make their own arrangements with the court reporter or the custodian attor-
ney for copies;
The court reporter does not need to provide additional copies of the exhibits
with the copies of the deposition transcript, unless the attorney ordering the
copy so requests.
(Rev. 5, 8/09)
Read this instruction sheet. Insert the
forms. Then place this instruction
sheet as the first item behind the
Deposition Arrangements tab. Leave
this sheet here for the entire case, so
the Stipulations, and the reminders
regarding the “Clincher” and “Best
Item to End Deposition With” are
always here.

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