Essentials of Depositions (On Demand Seminar)

MCLE Credits: 2.0
Ethics Credits Included: 0.0

MCLE Credit: 2.0 (Ethics: 0.0)
Live-Interactive Credit: 0.0
Designation Credit: 2.0 Trial Practice/Litigation (Designations Information)
Price: $149 (Includes a downloadable audio version.)
Viewable Through: 03/21/2024


A pre-recorded streaming video replay of the February 2021 webcast, Essentials of Depositions.

Course Outline

It’s time for the deposition: are you ready to risk it to on-the-job training? More importantly, is your client ready to risk it?

  • Learn, or re-learn, the basics
  • Establish habits that lead to success
  • Get tips and learn best practices from our experts

Depositions have become a “standard” part of most cases, sometimes without much thought given to how they will advance the cause at trial. They are expensive and time consuming. Opposing counsel can make the experience frustrating at best. Utilizing the results of the deposition at trial can be difficult, yet if done right, they can be an incredibly useful tool. If you don’t have a seasoned partner sitting second-chair, how do you know whether you are doing it right?

If you are facing your first deposition, or are a veteran of many but wish to revisit the basics of conducting a deposition, this course is for you. But it will not be a mere recitation of the applicable rules. Rather, our expert speakers will identify the important decisions you must make before, during, and after the deposition, and provide you with useful guidance and best practices at every stage. You’ll learn when you should—and shouldn’t—seek a deposition; how to conduct it effectively and efficiently; how to deal with difficult opposing counsel; and how to use the deposition to best effect at trial. Join us, and improve your skills!

Topics to be covered include:

  • When is a deposition appropriate?
  • The mechanics of a deposition in Virginia
  • Should the deposition be video-recorded?
  • Choosing “virtual” depositions—video and phone depositions
  • The use of documents at deposition
  • Objections at deposition
  • Identifying deposition objectives and varying techniques depending on those objectives
  • How to get what you need from the reluctant witness
  • How to deal with difficult opposing counsel and when to call the judge
  • Deposition-related motions
  • Special situations (4:5(b)(6) depositions; foreign depositions)
  • The use of deposition transcripts at trial
  • Impeachment with a deposition at trial
  • The use (and abuse) of errata sheets
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James F. Neale, McGuireWoods LLP / Charlottesville
M. Bryan Slaughter, Michie Hamlett / Charlottesville


James F. Neale, McGuireWoods LLP / Charlottesville
James Neale’s varied trial practice focuses on high-exposure tort cases in courts across the country. His trial experience includes personal injury, nuisance, products liability, insurance coverage, premises liability, transportation, pharmaceutical, and right-of-publicity cases. He has won verdicts in state and federal courts in Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Maryland, Delaware, and California. In addition, Mr. Neale has defended clients in a variety of other adversarial arenas, including high-exposure cases before the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation and numerous arbitration panels. He has briefed and argued appeals to the Virginia Supreme Court, the California Court of Appeals, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th and the 11th Circuits, and the full Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission.

M. Bryan Slaughter, MichieHamlett / Charlottesville
Bryan Slaughter concentrates his practice on cases involving catastrophic personal injury or wrongful death. His practice areas include products liability, serious automobile and truck accidents, premises liability, and medical malpractice. He is a member of the Virginia and West Virginia state bars, and he has tried cases throughout the region. Mr. Slaughter graduated from the University of Virginia in 1991, and the Washington and Lee University School of Law in 1997.  He is a past president of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, and a member of both the American College of Trial Lawyers and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. He is a member of the Boyd-Graves conference, a faculty member at the National Trial Advocacy College, and has lectured and written on various topics involving products liability and personal injury law. Mr. Slaughter is particularly interested in pro bono service and access to justice issues, and in that regard serves on the Virginia Supreme Court’s Access to Justice Commission.

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