How to Hurt Your Case in a Deposition – By Justin Bieber
You may have seen footage of Justin Bieber’s deposition last year. He was sued by a photographer who claims that Justin told his bodyguard to attack him. Bieber’s behavior during his deposition teaches us a lot about how NOT to behave while being deposed.
Six Ways to Hurt Your Case – as shown by Justin Bieber
- Don’t be prepared. It is clear when Justin testifies that he is not familiar with the crucial legal issues the case is covering. To avoid making your case worse, meet with your lawyer BEFORE the deposition to get a grasp on the problems that may come up and how to address them.
- Interrupt. Court reporters record every word spoken in a deposition. It is crucial that participants not speak over one another so that the reporter can record accurately.
- Be arrogant. Despite being completely unqualified and ignorant of many of the legal issues, Justin was repeatedly arrogant and condescending to everyone in the room. Judges and juries see that, and they have feelings that will come into play when a verdict is decided.
- Be inappropriate. Bieber repeatedly makes smart-aleck remarks throughout the deposition. His jokes are offensive, but even if they weren’t, jokes can be construed as evidence that you don’t take the case seriously.
- Dodge questions. A deposition is a legal proceeding where parties answer questions under oath. It’s not a conversation. You are legally obligated to answer questions, and avoiding answering not only increases your legal fees by making the deposition last longer, it also makes you look as if you have something to hide.
- Pick an unprofessional lawyer. Mr. Bieber’s lawyer’s behavior is almost as bad as the pop star himself’s. Some people unfortunately believe that having a lawyer who is a jerk will help their case. It does not. Unprofessional lawyers waste your time, your money, and can hurt your case.
Showing that you are prepared, being a good witness, and giving a good deposition during litigation in Phoenix is a great way to turn a case to your advantage. Acting like Justin Bieber will invariably hurt your case. Justin can probably afford extra legal fees and a higher settlement payment, but my clients usually can’t. That is why I carefully prepare my clients for depositions beforehand.
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