Employment Discrimination Depositions - Looseleaf
Employment Discrimination Depositions - Electronic
Employ.12 Beginning the Deposition
It is important to remember that the moments before the deposition
begin will influence the tone and structure of the deposition itself. If
you want the witness to be relaxed and comfortable, greet the witness
in a friendly manner and engage in small talk. Conversely, if you want
to keep the witness on edge, formally introduce yourself without any
additional conversation to keep the environment tense.
After the court reporter is ready to proceed and the parties are
present, the deposing attorney can begin the deposition. The deposing
attorney should ask the reporter to swear in the witness. Before the
substantive questioning begins, you should provide a brief explanation
of the deposition and state introductory instructions. The following is a
sample introductory statement:
Q: Ms. Little, my name is _______________ and I am representing
(client) in the lawsuit you filed against (client).
Ms. Little, my name is _______________ and I am representing
Defendant. This deposition is being taken with respect to a
lawsuit filed by Plaintiff against Defendant, pending in the court.
Are you aware of that lawsuit?
Q: Although this is a somewhat informal setting since we’re in a law
office and there’s no judge or jury present, the deposition
testimony that you’re about to give will be subject to the same
oath and the same penalties of perjury that would apply if you
were in court giving testimony in front of a judge and a jury. Do
you understand that?
Q: The court reporter has just administered an oath to you, and she is
an officer of the court. You are obligated, therefore, to give your
best, most accurate and most truthful responses to my questions.
Do you understand that?
Q: If you answer a question, I will have the right to assume and act
as though you understood it. Will you agree to let me know if you
do not understand a question?
12 Beginning the Deposition
Sample Questions to Elicit Background Information
Anthony J. Oncidi is a Partner with Proskauer Rose and Chair of the Labor and Employment Department in the Los Angeles office. Mr. Oncidi represents employers in all aspects of labor relations and employment law, including litigation, preventive counseling, wrongful termination, employee discipline, Title VII and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, union-related issues, wage and hour matters, executive employment contract disputes, employee handbooks and personnel policies, sexual harassment training and investigations, workplace violence, drug testing and privacy issues, confidential information, trade secret protection and collective bargaining. A substantial portion of Mr. Oncidi's practice involves the defense of employers in class action wage and hour suits, employment discrimination and wrongful termination litigation in both state and federal courts. Mr. Oncidi also has particular experience in trade secret and unfair competition litigation and the defense of sexual harassment, discrimination, breach of contract and defamation lawsuits.
Mr. Oncidi has lectured to large groups of employers at numerous conferences and seminars, and he is a regular columnist on employment law issues for the Los Angeles Daily Journal and the State Bar of California's Labor and Employment Law Quarterly. He is a member of the Executive Committees of the Labor and Employment Law Sections of the State Bar of California and the Los Angeles County Bar Associations.