·  Legal News, Analysis, & Commentary

Lawsuits & Litigation

How Does a Well-Prepared Deposition Help Win a Case?

— October 13, 2021

As a well-prepared deposition summary is easy to read and understand, and all the facts are double-checked and verified by the attorney.

Civil lawsuits are complex and what makes them complicated are several processes and stages included. One of the most crucial phases is pre-trial E-discovery, where a deposition summary plays a key role. From an attorney’s viewpoint, it is the initial and essential stage they go through to collect facts that help them challenge or win a case in court. Deposition summaries help attorneys understand how to make the appropriate use of evidence and prove facts in order to justify their case.

Why is a good deposition summary necessary?

Helps Attorneys with Pre-trial Case Preparation

Preparing for a case takes a lot of effort from the attorney who’s handling the case. In this process, the pre-trial preparation time is crucial to join the dots and lay the foundation, making a strong case. One of the core motives of preparing a deposition summary is to convert the tremendous amount of information at hand into a brief, easy-to-read, and -understand document that contains all key points (from witness testimonies) relevant to the case.

With all the necessary information summarized, attorneys find it easier to proceed further with the other aspects of case preparation, especially prior to trials.

Helps Save the Attorney’s Time

Legal issues are time-sensitive, and attorneys understand the importance of closing a case on time, well, to be precise, ‘helping their clients get justice on time.’ This makes it necessary for them to save time whenever and wherever they can. By preparing deposition summaries, they can save a lot of their time as these summaries typically contain only key aspects of the case. That way, they do not need to spend hours looking for a specific part of the testimony. The amount of time attorneys save can be utilized for building case strategy and preparation of trials.

Summary Makes Deposition Review Easier

An attorney’s job is not easy as it revolves around a lot of information, which they must ensure is genuine. For this purpose, their daily jobs include document collection, research, information collection, legal document review, deposition review, etc.

For any attorney, it is vital to review deposition transcripts, especially when they are planning to use the transcript during trials. Since the summary provides all the key facts in a concise, easy-to-understand format, the complex deposition review process becomes easier.

Summary Can Include Non-Verbal Communication

Nonverbal signs such as laughing, stuttering, pausing, and coughing should be clearly mentioned in a deposition summary to make it more accurate and effective. An attitude or mood can reveal how someone is taking the situation while giving the statement.

For example, laughter can indicate that the person is not concerned about the situation or not considering the matter a serious one. Stuttering, on the other hand, can suggest that the person is not confident about the statements they are giving.

A summary containing these non-verbal aspects of communication can tell a lot and give the case a turning point.

Critical to Court Procedures

Deposition summaries assist witnesses in recalling their statements. Besides that, they can also provide an outline of reference for the witness testimony of the opposing counsel. It is always beneficial to know the key points of the statements given by witnesses of the opposing party. For example, if a witness changes their statement during the trial, you can discredit them as you already have their statements recorded.

Man on a job interview; image courtesy of Amtec Staffing, via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, no changes.
Image courtesy of Amtec Staffing, via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, no changes.

Apart from that, a deposition summary can be useful for judges, too. In fact, a well-described summary of a witness statement that also adheres to the guidelines given by the court is readily admissible in the court. Moreover, the judge can also use the summary during trials.

Indeed, most jurors would prefer a well-written, concise deposition summary over a lengthy and never-ending written testimony.

Useful for Simplifying Technical Testimony

Technically qualified witnesses provide a majority of evidence, especially in litigation; however, the quality of evidence and witness statements vary. By making deposition summaries, you can considerably convert the complicated and less-known terms into simpler words, making it easy to read and understand for everyone present in the court.

Acts as a Binding Record

While conducting depositions, it is vital to have a court reporter present in the room. Witnesses are obliged to tell the truth, and the court reporter transcribes the complete testimony given. Upon request, a copy of the same can then be provided to both parties involved. Since the court reporter is involved in the entire phase, the deposition becomes binding. This is helpful because you will have an official record of statements in case things go around unexpectedly in the future.

Helps to Gather Case-critical Information

Depositions are not required to be conducted for each case. However, they are needed to gather testimony and get a clearer view of certain facts that are disputed or yet unknown. In other words, depositions are an extended version of allegations or information already made or submitted, respectively, for instance, documents or written interrogatories.

Sometimes witnesses cause inconsistency in testimony that can be addressed by gathering key information while preparing a deposition summary – pretty much beneficial for attorneys.

The better the information is gathered, the better the case can be prepared.


As a well-prepared deposition summary is easy to read and understand, and all the facts are double-checked and verified by the attorney. It clears ways for other court procedures. This further results in a smooth proceeding of the case that leads to faster settlement.

However, considering the busy schedule of attorneys, it usually becomes challenging for them to spend extended hours just managing this time-eating task of deposition summary preparation. But there are solutions, too.

Attorneys and law firms can outsource many of their tedious and repetitive tasks to a reliable legal support service provider and free up their time for critical jobs. Choosing an experienced provider of legal services is also essential. Why? Because they will have a strong understanding of different types of depositions as they have been managing the same for years. With a dedicated team of legal experts, you can benefit from their vast experience in legal back-office management, helping you increase efficiency, productivity and reduce costs.

Join the conversation!