Great Adverse Depositions—Principles and Principal Techniques

MCLE Credits: 6.5
Ethics Credits Included: 0.0

Video on Site: Tuesday, October 11 / Richmond
  Thursday, October 13 / Alexandria, Harrisonburg, Norfolk, Roanoke
  Friday, October 14 / Tysons Corner
  Thursday, October 20 / Charlottesville
Registration: 8:00 a.m. (Richmond location: 8:30 a.m.)
Program: 8:30 a.m. - 4:15 p.m. (Richmond location: 9:00 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.)
MCLE Credit: 6.5 (Ethics: 0.0)
Live-Interactive Credit: 0.0
Live on Site: September 27 in Richmond (Glen Allen) and September 28 in Fairfax


Why Attend?

  • Learn a “new” paradigm regarding depositions: the intellectually rigorous discipline of deposition cross-examination
  • Explore the logic that is essential to Great Adverse Depositions in this practical and engaging seminar
  • Valuable for even the most experienced litigators

Featuring Robert Musante

More than any other aspect of pretrial litigation, it is the skill the attorney wields when taking the deposition of the adverse “fact” and expert witnesses that most dramatically impacts case outcome, whether by settlement or by trial.

High-quality adverse depositions require the conscious and conscientious application of an integrated set of logical cross-examination rules. This program wastes no time on entry-level wisdom, code chatter, idiosyncratic war stories, or tired maxims. Instead, using video clips from high-profile cases, it brilliantly teaches how to take adverse depositions as never before … the one right, logical way: as an intellectually rigorous discipline.

Robert Musante, the country’s foremost teacher of deposition cross-examination skills, will convince you, as he has with thousands of others, that the discipline of deposition cross-examination must use an integrated set of logical rules. He will show you that the conscious and conscientious application of these rules will enable the deposition-taker to best exploit case theory opportunities and best attack case theory problems.

Here is what other Virginia lawyers say about Musante’s seminars:

Highly practical seminar. Musante really gave us the “how to” for an effective and “killer” deposition. Musante very engaging … he presented info in a clear and entertaining manner, also providing easy-to-remember summaries by the material.

Very helpful seminar on practical points. Musante is very understandable … keeps attention of audience well. Definitely more practical than other like seminars.

This seminar is the highest quality to date. Very effective use of multimedia coupled with lecture. Excellent speaker.



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* Please note that the Richmond video replay begins at 9:00 a.m., with registration beginning at 8:30 a.m.

8:00 Registration
8:30 Session I
  • Deposition cross-examination: an intellectually rigorous discipline
  • “Battleships”: the checklist of recurring lines of inquiry in same-kind-of-case adverse depositions
  • Four nearly-everybody-agrees deposition cross-examination rules
  • “Grand Unified Theory” of civil litigation
  • The country's #1 civil litigator deposing a brilliant adverse witness in a monumental case (the first of several video clips analyzed)
  • The can’t-be-beat argument vs. “the stupidest orthodoxy”:saving attacks for surprise at trial
  • “Whack!” defined and demonstrated in a high-profile trial cross-examination
  • Seven advantages: deposition cross-examiner vs. trial cross-examiner
  • The most important TEACHABLE aspect of civil litigation
10:00 Break
10:10 Session II
  • “The Magnificent Seven” ... key rules of deposition cross-examination
  • When to ask leading questions in deposition ... or at trial
  • Exceptions to the leading-question rule
  • When the truth is not nearly enough
  • Bluffing deponent into a damaging admission
  • Three high-profile examples of deception (2 blue, 1 red)
  • Using rhetoric to intensify argument
11:20 Break
11:30 Session III
  • Using rhetoric to intensify argument (continued)
  • “Every" cross-examiner's chief flaw re taking an adverse deposition
  • Analysis of multiple video clips of the country's #1 civil litigator deposing that brilliant adverse witness in that monumental case
  • An amateur cross-examiner using rhetoric ... and doing it right!
12:30 Lunch Recess
1:15 Session IV
  • Firewalling and “ghost believers”
  • Interrogatory-like questions
  • Universal terms and nail-down terms
  • A third famous cross-examination analyzed
  • Enumeration
  • Looping
  • Identifying a mediocre deposition in only 60 seconds
  • Making the implied express: using lexicography
  • Making the implied express: using logic
2:35 Break
2:45 Session V
  • The transfer-of-information rule
  • The most common dumb deposition question
  • Deposition “Crap” defined
  • Attacking the narrow question and question-dodging with high school grammar
  • Attacking two answers in one question
  • Attacking the needle-and-the-haystack answer
  • Additional wisdom re saving impeachment evidence for surprise at trial
  • Conducting interviews vs. taking great adverse depositions
  • Coda
4:15 Adjourn



Robert Musante is the country’s foremost teacher of deposition cross-examination skills. A 1978 graduate of the University of California, Boalt Hall Law School, he tried jury trials for 23 years, first as a prosecutor, then as a civil attorney. In addition, he taught trial practice at Boalt Hall for 16 years, 1984 through 1999. In 1993, he created the first of several killer depo seminars. Since then, to great acclaim (see thousands of rave reviews at, he has taught more than 45,000 litigators the discipline of deposition cross-examination. More than 120 law firms, offices of state attorneys general, or bar groups, in 42 states, have sponsored one or more of his seminars.

Locations, Dates and Fees

VIDEO REGISTRATION FEES (Lunch not included).

$245 regular registration (printed materials included).
$260 on-site registration (if space is available) (printed materials included).



Richmond: UVA Richmond Regional Center, 2810 N. Parham Road, Suite 300, 3rd Floor (Parking available only in spots not marked “Visitor Parking”) (804) 662-7464 (Venue Website / Google Map) (Please note that the Richmond video replay begins at 9:00 a.m., with registration beginning at 8:30 a.m.)


Alexandria: Courtyard Marriott Alexandria Old Town/Southwest, 2700 Eisenhower Ave. (703) 683-6000 (Venue Website / Google Map)
Harrisonburg: Courtyard Marriott, 1890 Evelyn Byrd Avenue (540) 432-3031 (Venue Website / Google Map)
Norfolk: SpringHill Suites Norfolk—Virginia Beach, 6350 Newtown Road (757) 333-3100 (Venue Website / Google Map)
Roanoke: Roanoke Higher Education Center, 108 North Jefferson Street (Parking validated for parking deck adjacent to center only) (540) 767-6161 (Venue Website / Google Map)


Tysons Corner: Courtyard Marriott, 1960-A Chain Bridge Road (entrance to hotel on Greensboro Drive) (703) 790-0207 (Venue Website / Google Map)


Charlottesville: The Virginia CLE® Building, 105 Whitewood Road (800) 979-8253 (Venue Website / Google Map)

Click here if you wish to register three or more people from the same firm.

A special 15% discount and free shipping on Virginia CLE®–published books will be available for purchases made at the seminar site.

Cancellation/transfer requests will be honored through 5:00 p.m. of the DAY BEFORE the seminar. 

If you have a disability that requires special accommodation, please contact Virginia CLE® well in advance of the program date.

Private recording of this program is prohibited.

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    Charlottesville, VA 22901


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