Attorneys wear many hats: negotiator, investigator, advisor (to name a few). But for me, the most intriguing hat of all is that of performer. Whether it be in front of a judge or jury, sometimes lawyers get to take center stage and show off their performing skills. So, when I found out that I’d be participating in a deposition training exercise with my fellow Summer Associates, I knew this was my chance to put on my performing hat.
To prepare for our mock depositions, each Summer Associate was given a set of materials including a fictional case file and tips for deposing a witness. I read through the materials and drafted an outline, perhaps overly confident from the single deposition I’d previously witnessed. What I hadn’t considered was that my mock witness, an incredibly kind associate I’d worked with before, would put on her own performing hat and flawlessly play the part of a hostile deponent. While I wrote my questions with a cooperative witness in mind, I quickly realized that I had to be flexible in my approach, remaining calm and unbothered while my witness acted annoyed and aloof. Although this was not the experience I was expecting from my first (mock) deposition, I found that through this training I gained valuable experience in persevering despite facing an uncooperative witness and maintaining my composure when a curveball was thrown my way.