Depositions Done Right

MCLE Credits: 6.0
Ethics Credits Included: 0.0

Live on Site: Wednesday, September 25 / Fairfax
  Thursday, September 26 / Richmond (Glen Allen)
Registration: 8:00 a.m.
Program: 8:30 a.m. - 3:45 p.m.
MCLE Credit: 6.0 (Ethics: 0.0)
Live-Interactive Credit: 6.0 Live Interactive MCLE Credit Symbol
Video on Site Options


Why Attend?

  • Presented by Robert Musante—a nationally recognized teacher of deposition skills
  • Learn a wealth of new deposition techniques: one or two may make the difference in your case
  • Enjoy this entertaining and informative exploration of important, but often neglected topics

On June 16, 2016, Donald John Trump’s videotaped deposition was taken by Deborah Baum (one of the “Best Lawyers in America” for 2018 and 2019) in a lawsuit wherein Trump’s LLC sued celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian, who had terminated his lease to run a first-class restaurant in the LLC’s high-profile Washington, DC, hotel. Zakarian contended that he had been justified in terminating the lease because of much-publicized—and much-criticized—statements Trump had made regarding illegal immigration when he announced his run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2015. Zakarian contended those statements materially damaged his ability to attract staff and customers to his proposed restaurant. In April 2017, the parties “amicably” settled the lawsuit—or so said their respective press releases.

Using video clips of Q&A from Trump’s deposition, along with some excerpts from the same-case depositions of Donald Trump, Jr. and Ivanka Trump, Robert Musante, the country’s #1 teacher of deposition cross-examination, presents a brilliant—and entertaining—analysis of principles and rules applicable to every adverse deposition in every case ... for the rest of time. This seminar wastes no time on entry-level “wisdom,” code chatter, idiosyncratic war stories, or tired maxims; rather, it offers a penetrating critique of the deposition attorney’s performance to illustrate the fundamental principles and rules.

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8:00 Registration
8:30 Session I
  • Seminar’s ground rules
  • Background to Trump LLC vs. Zakarian
  • “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre” made metaphorically relevant
  • The deposition-taking ability of nearly all civil litigators
  • The “Grand Unified Theory” of deposition cross-examination
  • Saving credibility attacks for trial surprise
10:00 Break
10:15 Session II
  • Well begun is half done and the admonition drill
  • Firewalling deponent’s answers
  • Word-hawking
  • Document production and deponent’s credibility risk
  • Leading questions put in their deposition place
  • Q&A clarity: the friend of deposition cross-examiner

Lunch (provided at the live programs only)

12:30 Session III
  • Questioner’s wrong use of “Do you know?” and “Do you recall?”
  • The use of rhetoric to intensify arguments
  • Deposition cross-examiner = risk-crafter
  • Pythagorize responses to uncover hidden numbers
  • Protecting the yes/no question
  • “The Magnificent Seven” Q&A words
2:00 Break
2:15 Session IV
  • Argument-making in deposition
  • Establishing rapport with adverse deponent
  • Power of “So …”
  • Enumeration and looping
  • The “relevancy zone”
  • Taking a deposition vs. conducting an under-oath interview
3:45 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 50,000 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


$329 regular registration (printed materials included).
$349 on-site registration (if space is available) (printed materials included).


FAIRFAX / Wednesday, September 25
Waterford at Fair Oaks (Venue Website / Google Map)
12025 Lee Jackson Memorial Highway
(703) 352-3200

RICHMOND (Glen Allen) / Thursday, September 26
The Place at Innsbrook (Detailed PDF Map / Venue Website / Google Map)
4036-C Cox Road
(804) 346-2100

Click here if you wish to register three or more people from the same firm.
A special 15% discount 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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