Deposition Summaries

AuthorLeonard H. Bucklin
11. Deposition Summaries
File here a summary of each deposition that has been taken in the case. Weeks,
months, and even years may go by between depositions, or after depositions and before
trial. After each deposition, summarize it and make notes regarding the locations of cru-
cial testimony. If you do not have the time or inclination to draft a deposition summary,
assign the job to a legal assistant.
A deposition summary should include page and line numbers for the items in the
summary. The summary will thus work as a table of contents or an index to allow
quicker and easier access to the often elusive statements that you are trying to find in
the deposition.
§11.1 Rules and Example
Make deposition summaries for your trial notebook the same way you always have.
If your firm has no standard instructions or methods for summarizing depositions, do
the following:
– List the page of the deposition you are summarizing, and then state the
nature of what the witness said on that page. Start a new line for each separate
description of the testimony.
– One to three sentences in your summary should be sufficient for each depo-
sition page. For some pages there will be nothing worth putting in the sum-
mary. If in doubt, leave it out.
– If the witness merely says something that everyone agrees on, make your
summary of that statement brief.
– Use the first person (“I”) whenever possible, as though you are the talking
witness. If the witness uses words you may want to quote exactly at trial, use
quote marks.
Here is an excerpt of a deposition summary.
Pages Item
3 to 32. Henry’s name, address, marital status, employment,
and no relationship to driver Jones or others involved.
12. Smith takes me to work each morning.
15. I have six felony arrests more than 10 years ago; no

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