Family Law Depositions (Hardcover) - Second Edition
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Family Law Depositions, Second Edition, fills a great knowledge gap in the family law field. Family lawyers frequently go into depositions without adequate preparation, perfunctorily believing they can wing it by keying their questions from a quick scan of their pleadings—a serious mistake. Critical information is obtained at this stage that can lead to a settlement, structure a case, or be introduced at trial. For these reasons taking a deposition requires detailed preparation, using precise inquiries to elicit testimony under oath that is complete and lacks deception.
Family Law Depositions, Second Edition, gives the lawyer the needed tools and understanding to attain that objective and lock in the deponent's testimony. It reveals, in broad, useful outlines and detailed explanations, the tactical and strategic approaches to effectively and efficiently gather, elicit, preserve and present testimony from potential witnesses. It is useful for taking or defending depositions. A combination of specially prepared deposition forms and excerpts from actual depositions on various topics, and succinct discussion of the essential topics, provide the family lawyer with complete deposition preparation.
Nichols was a 1964 graduate of Rice University and a 1967 graduate from the
University of Houston College of Law. His legal career was dedicated to trial
work, with special emphasis on family law, personal injury law, and general
civil trial litigation. He held certifications from the Texas Board of Legal
Specialization in Family Law, Personal Injury Law and Civil Trial Law. Mr.
Nichols was also certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy in Civil
Trial Law and was honored by several national publications, including “The Best
Lawyers in America,” for his work in family law. He was a Fellow in the International Society
of Barristers, Diplomate in the American Board of Trial Advocates, Fellow in
the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, and International Academy of
Matrimonial Lawyers, and was a Diplomate in the American College of Family
Trial Lawyers. Mr. Nichols authored over
one hundred articles on trial work and family law related topics.
Phillips graduated in 1984 from the University of California-Berkeley’s
School of Law (Boalt Hall). He also holds a Masters’ degree from the University
of Chicago. His legal practice has focused on litigation and involved family
law, complex product liability litigation, class actions, constitutional law,
commercial law, insurance bad faith claims, consumer protection law, and
maritime/aviation law. He has authored law review and continuing legal
education articles and an extensive book chapter on tort liability. He also
authored Personal Injury Depositions, along with John Nichols.
"In an extraordinary act of organization, John F. Nichols, Sr. painstakingly categorized his past depositions in family law cases by topic. Part reference manual and part how-to guide, the book is an offering in the Juris Publishing Deposition Series. The authors, John F. Nichols, Sr. and Joe Phillips, both well-respected and experienced litigators, with Nichols being particularly well-versed in family law cases.
Family Law Depositions contains much of value for both the new or general practitioner, as well as the more experienced family law attorney. For the new or general practitioner, the book provides a guide to pre-deposition preparation and strategy for both the attorney conducting the deposition and the attorney defending the deposition. It offers notes on discovery practice in addition to preparation of the attorney, the client and the witness (including expert witnesses). It even contains sample information sheets for clients to complete and a sample witness-instruction sheet. The book also delves into the very mechanics of deposition taking, including detailed question-and-answer forms from actual depositions conducted by the authors.
While the more experienced family law practitioner can certainly benefit from the sheer organizational force of Family Law Depositions, even more value lies in the numerous unusual fact scenarios covered in the book. These will provide a good "jumping off point" for preparing for depositions in more complex cases and those involving rarer causes of action. Family Law Depositions also contains helpful practice notes throughout, leading any practitioner through proper deposition practice, and providing background information, strategy, and supporting case law. For ease of reference, Family Law Depositions is organized both by topic--jurisdictional disputes, custody proceedings, property proceedings, marital torts and post-divorce actions--and by witnesses to be deposed--parties, experts, social workers, private investigators, teachers, tutors and more. Each possible witness in each topic is addressed with comprehensive, question-and-answer examples from real depositions. It is truly the kind of resource that can only come from experience.
According to the authors, Family Law Depositions is intended as a guidepost for the preparation, planning, and strategy for taking family law depositions. It succeeds, and it should be a part of every family law practitioner's library."
-The Houston Lawyer, a publication of the Houston Bar Association
"There is no better preparation ally for family law practitioners."
- Philip Schwartz, Esq., Schwartz & Associates, LLC; Of Counsel to Shoun, Bach, Walinsky & Curran, PC. Recipient, Lifetime Achievement Award, Virginia State Bar Association Family Law Section. Former President and Vice President, respectively: International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
"I purchased Family Law Depositions and found it immensely helpful. I found the book to be comprehensive, well organized and easy to use. Congratulations on a great work!"
- Kay Polk. Esq., Houston, Texas