The Legal Advocate

A blog brought to you by the national institute for trial advocacy

July 2013 Executive Director’s Letter: Depositions Are In At NITA

Posted On By
Karen M. Lockwood

Karen M. Lockwood

With all this talk about depositions this month on NITA’s blog, The Legal Advocate, it’s easy to be inspired to brush up on nuanced skills, new techniques, and vast changes in technology for depositions. There is that changing world of technology choices, which Dick Leighton writes about. There is the separate skill bank needed to succeed in a “distance deposition,” as Larry Silver discusses. And the detail behind the admonitions – which are critical and only sound simple, as Shahrad Milanfar makes clear with his cheat sheet.

Bloggers Dick and Larry are NITA Program Directors for two of our live deposition programs – Dick in DC on July 31-August 2, with an add-on day of expert depositions on August 3. Larry leads our California Coast deposition in the LA area on July 25-27. Under the federal system’s 7-hour limit on time with a witness, the prize goes to the lawyer who puts a premium on economy of vocabulary, and who puts the work into a tightly developed plan to achieve her goals.

NITA’s deposition programs provide a lot to learn, to be reminded of, and to practice with peer reviews. In fact, we have 18 deposition programs for you through the rest of 2013.

  • Summer – what a great time to choose a 3-day, combine it with a short stay in the vicinity, and call it a productive get-away. July and August offer 5 depositions programs from coast to coast (DC, LA, Seattle, and on-line).
  • Back-To-School — if you like to polish skills in the fall as your docket shapes up, September and October offer 6 programs (Berkeley, Boston, Fort Lauderdale, and on-line).
  • Fall — And if you budget your time now through year’s end, November and December offer 7 programs (New York, Atlanta, Indianapolis, Phoenix, Boulder, and on-line)

In planning your schedule, you may wish to talk with us. Call us at (303)953-6829 or reach out to Jane Dougherty at We are always thrilled to hear from you, and happy to talk through your planning questions.

Indeed, you can use the deposition program as one of the line-up of key skills needed to earn your certificate as NITA Master Advocate.

In my trial practice, before starting tricky or unusual depositions, I often referred to my chosen library of NITA reference books, which I kept close at hand. Although 30 years of trial practice provided extensive comfort in taking good depositions, I remembered to pull new ideas from the NITA reference books to refresh my imagination, suggest an approach for a difficult witness, reinforce such discipline as setting up but not springing grounds for impeachment at trial, and more. Having them at hand was like having just walked out of a NITA program faculty room, where disciplined technique and fresh ideas are carefully taught and freely exchanged.

NITA’s deposition reference books are distinguished from the typical “practice guide” for this reason – the disciplined technique and the inspired suggestions bring the faculty into your office. Our collection includes: 30(b)(6) Rules: Talking to an Organization (Malone) (new small handbook format); Deposition Rules: Essential Handbook of Who, What, When, Where, Why and How (Malone) (new small handbook); Deposition Evidence: Objections, Instructions Not To Answer, and Responses (Bocchino, Sonenshein); and related books like Exhibit Rules (Malone & Zwier), and our latest Laying Foundations and Meeting Objections (e-book, print coming late July) (Siemer). The full treatise, The Effective Deposition, 4th Edition (Malone, Hoffman, Bocchino) is not to be missed. It comes in print, ebook, and most recently the enhanced ebook featuring 30 videos of instruction by the authors and demonstrations.

As primers for your program reservation, or as on-demand opportunities to grab lunch over a video, log onto studio71. There you will find NITA’s growing collection of short, NITA-specialized quick tips for the trial lawyer. These are highly specialized, small-subject discussions on various topics. They include some of the videos from the enhanced ebook The Effective Deposition 4th, eight videos on discrete deposition topics, and a wonderful webinar by Dave Malone and Peter Hoffman on deep and important aspects of a Rule 30(b)(6) deposition.

I welcome you to NITA through these exciting options for deepening your deposition skills. However you enter our NITA world, you will find an entrée that suits your schedule now, and will broaden your access to the leading Program Directors and finest faculty. They team with you, as a colleague, to help you strengthen your skills in what we know is the never-ending growth of fine trial lawyers.
NITA is a community. It is a welcoming network. There are many places where you can contribute, and we invite you to bring others with you.



Karen M. Lockwood

Executive Director

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

NITA’s team of practicing lawyers, professors and judges from around the nation dedicates its efforts to the training and development of skilled and ethical legal advocates to improve the adversarial justice system.

NITA’s Goals are to:

  • Promote justice through effective and ethical advocacy.
  • Train and mentor lawyers to be competent and ethical advocates in pursuit of justice.
  • Develop and teach trial advocacy skills to support and promote the effective and fair administration of justice.
Feature Products


Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers: