The Legal Advocate

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Monthly Theme: Depositions Part One

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“Once Upon a Time in Deposition: Taking Better Depositions to Tell Better Stories”

Written by NITA guest blogger, Chris Arledge, co-founder and managing partner of One LLP

Lawyers need to be storytellers.  We know that.  We hear it all the time.  But storytelling plays almost no role in our day-to-day activities.  Many of us first write our client’s story about a week before trial, and we often find that much of the story we’d like to write involves events, conversations, and sometimes even people that we never really thought much about until that time.  Our sparse record makes effective storytelling at trial difficult.

This is the subject of my recent webinar “Once Upon a Time in Deposition: Taking Better Depositions to Tell Better Stories.”  In that program, (premiering live at 10:00 am PDT and available on demand this evening) I teach how to take depositions with storytelling in mind.  Taking depositions with storytelling in mind requires us to gather the facts that we need to tell a complete and compelling story, with characters, setting, plot, conflict, and resolution.

The key to taking depositions for the purpose of storytelling is to use the good facts we have – the ones we uncovered in our documents, for example – and use the NITA funnel technique to leverage those facts to acquire additional, useful facts.  It is the accumulation of these facts that gives our story depth and makes our presentation persuasive.  This means that we need to stop chasing conclusions and characterizations in our depositions and, instead, focus on discrete, simple, facts.  My presentation explains how to do this.

Chris Arledge’s webcast, “Once Upon a Time in Deposition: Taking Better Depositions to Tell Better Stories, premieres live at 10:00 am PDT/ 1:00 pm EDT today, November 8th, and will be available to watch on demand this evening. Don’t forget to tune in!

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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.
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