Bracketing: A Deposition Technique To Gain Important Pretrial Information Part III

I’ve been lucky so far and have not gotten sick. Lot’s of social distancing, masks and Zoom meetings, but I’ve never been busier. Between my law practice, trial consulting and my LLM studies it’s been seven-day weeks for me. Oh, did I mention we’ve worked through a website refresh process. Oh, boy! I’m grateful.

That said, I must first start off with an apology for not providing part three of my Blog on BRACKETING: A DEPOSITION TECHNIQUE TO GAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION- Time and Quantity, so I’m going to share some transcripts that provide a clear and concise path to lock in difficult defense witnesses.

In Part One. I addressed Bracketing or pinning down a defense witness who has been coached and who is trying to avoid answering any questions if they are not exactly sure of the answer.  This kind of coached or unnatural answer can create serious problems for your case when the deposition testimony does not represent the facts or the evidence. Letting witnesses slide on this kind of testimony can be a fatal mistake.

In Part Two, I addressed Bracketing for distance and shared a part of a deposition using my suggested techniques. Todays Blog will address time and quantity, so, here goes.

BRACKETING FOR TIME

Q: How long had you been in the Blue bar that night?

A: I don’t know.

Q: What time did you arrive?

A: After dinner.

Q: About what time?

A: I’m not sure.

Q: Was it as early as 5PM?

A: No, it was later than that.

Q: Was it as late as 11PM?

A: No, that’s way too late.

Q: So, it was after 5pm and before 11pm?

A: It was probably closer to 8:30

Q: So you arrived at about 8:30 pm. What time did you leave?

A: I’m not sure, a few hours later.

Q: Could it have been as late as last call at 2:30 am?

A: No, I stopped at Krystal at about 1:00 am.

Q: So you were at the bar from 8:30 to approximately one am, is that right?

A: Yes

Q: You were at the bar for approximately four and a half hours?

A: More or less.

Q. Well, I understand it could be off fifteen minutes on arrival or departure, but that’s a close as you can get, right, about four and a half hours?

A: Yeah.

BRACKETING FOR QUANTITY

Q: How often did your driver-managers cross check driver logs and Qualcomm data?

A: I don’t know for sure , it’s hard to measure. It varies from person to person, depending on workload.

Q: Well, on average would you expect a driver manager to check more than five entries in a week, say an average of one log entry per day?

A: I’m not sure.

Q: Could it be more than fifty per day?

A: No, it couldn’t be that many.

Q: so, less than fifty?

A: Yes, certainly.

Q: Well, could it have been around twenty-five entries in a week, say an average of five per day?

A: Well, twenty-five is too high.

Q: So from your knowledge, the number of log entries compared with Qualcomm data was somewhere between five and twenty-five entries per week?

A: Well, Twenty-Five is too high.

Q: Could it have been as many as twenty per week or an average of four per day?

A: I’d say it’s closer to ten per week.

As I said earlier, failure to pin down these witnesses can came back to haunt you at trial. I hope this Blog was helpful and I appreciate your interest in my work. If you have the “Big” case and you want to explore how the Miller Method could help you achieve your verdict, all you have to do is call and set up a telephone conversation to talk it over. If you would like to have my books on deposition preparation and using Focus Groups click here. What have you got to lose? Call me at the Miller Law Offices 615-473-7818.

Phillip

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