Litigators -- Don’t make “speaking” objections and make sure you follow the rules if you tell a witness not to answer a question at a deposition

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If you’re a litigator, you take and defend depositions. You’ve surely been at depositions where your adversary suggested you don’t know how to ask a question. You’ve also heard objections that are really speeches. You may have gone to battle on the record as to whether your adversary can tell the witness not to answer. Maybe you have been sought to have your adversary pay costs for directing a witness not to answer. On the other hand, maybe you surely defended a deposition where you found a question to be, in your view, palpably improper. Maybe you’ve made a speech or two yourself.

Litigators know there are strict rules both in State and Federal court about making speeches at depositions and directing a witness not to answer. But in the heat of battle the rules are sometimes forgotten or ignored.

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