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Bracketing: A Deposition Technique To Gain Important Information – Distance

In my last blog I examined the importance of pinning down “coached” defense witnesses on measurements that are important to achieving a Plaintiff verdict in areas such as dates, distances, or time. In that Blog I introduced the concept of “Bracketing”. Over the next couple of Blogs I’m going to share some examples from actual deposition testimony. In this Blog I’ll address bracketing for distance.

Bracketing For Distance:

Q: How far apart were the cars after the accident?

A: I don’t know.

Q: Was it more than three feet?

A: Sorry, I’m not really sure.

Q: Could it have been as long as a yardstick?

A: Close.

Q: Okay, then could they have been more than a car length apart?

A: No, not that far.

Q: Well, how about half a car length?

A: Maybe.

Q: So, can we say that after the accident, the cars were somewhere between three feet and half a car length apart, is that fair?

A: Yes, I would agree.

Author Note: You can also begin “Bracketing” by suggesting a number such as:

Q: Was the car more than a car length away when you first saw it?

A: Yes.

Q: How much more?

A: I’m not sure.

Q: Was it more than six car lengths?

A: I’m not sure.

Q: Was it more than a city block away when you first saw it?

A: Yes, it was less than a city block.

Q: So, it was more than a car length and less than a city block when you first saw it?

A: Yes, less than a city block.

Q: Could it have been half a block away when you first saw it?

A: Maybe.

Q: So somewhere between one car length and half a city block?

And so on.

Always remember that if you don’t pin down you measurements, this witnesses recollection of these important aspects of your case will improve greatly during their testimony at trial. I’ve got to end here for today and in the next Blog I’ll share examples of Bracketing for time and quantity.

Thanks for reading my blogs. I hope you find them helpful. I cover these topics in more depth in my book on deposition preparation, which includes a DVD that goes deeper into the Miller Method of trial preparation.

If you have a big case and you would like to talk about, give me a call and we can set something up. 615-356-2000

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