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Great Adverse Depositions: Principles & Principal Techniques

presented by
The South Carolina Bar-Continuing Legal Education Division
Live at the
Bar Conference Center
1501 Park Street
Columbia, SC 29202
 Video-CLE site statewide:
Anderson, Greenville, N.Charleston and Spartanburg


About the Seminar
This program qualifies for 6.0 MCLE credit hours.
High-quality adverse depositions require the conscious and conscientious application of the integrated set of logical cross-examination rules. This seminar wastes no time on entry-level wisdom, code chatter, idiosyncratic war stories, or tired maxims. Instead, using video clips from high-profile cases, it brilliantly teaches how to take adverse depositions as never before … the one, right, logical way: as an intellectually rigorous discipline.
If you are a trial attorney who wants to sharpen your deposition skills by learning from one of the recognized masters of the adverse deposition; if you are a litigator who wants to learn to set the stage for a favorable settlement or trial outcome; if you are a young attorney who wants to acquire the kind of questioning skills it might take years to learn otherwise, this special seminar is for you!
About the Speaker
Robert Musante is the nation’s foremost teacher of deposition cross-examination skills. A former deputy district attorney, civil trial attorney, and lecturer in trial practice for 16 years at the University of California, Boalt Hall Law School, he has taught his unique and highly entertaining seminars to more than 40,000 litigators in 42 states. He has made in-house presentations to the attorneys general of 11 states and to the partners and associates of more than 80 litigation law firms.  (For more information, including thousands of rave reviews from litigators around the country, see www.killerdepo.com)
8:30 a.m. Registration
9 a.m.
  • Deposition cross-examination: an intellectually rigorous discipline
  • "Battleships" ... the checklist of recurring deposition questions
  • 4 nearly-everybody-agrees deposition rules
  • The "Grand Unified Theory" of civil litigation
  • Rationale re saving attacks for surprise at trial
  • The can't-be-beat argument vs. the stupidest deposition orthodoxy
  • "Whack" defined & demonstrated
  • 7 advantages: deposition cross-examiner vs. trial cross-examiner

10:30 a.m. Break
10:40 a.m.
  • Introduction of "The Magnificent Seven"
  • When to ask leading questions in a deposition
  • Exceptions to the leading question rule
  • When the truth is not nearly enough
  • Bluffing deponent into a damaging admission
  • Using rhetoric to intensify arguments
  • Reasoning questions

  12:10 p.m. Lunch
1:10 p.m.
  • Firewalling introduced
  • Interrogatory-like questions
  • "Nail-down" terms
  • Enumeration
  • Looping
  • Identifying a mediocre adverse deposition in only 60 seconds
  • Making the implied or hidden express using lexicography
  • Making the implied or hidden express using logic

2:40 p.m. Break 
2:50 p.m.
  • The transfer of information rule & the most common dumb deposition question
  • Deposition "crap" defined
  • Attacking narrow questions & question-dodging with high school English skills
  • Attacking 2 answers in 1 question
  • Attacking the "needle & the haystack" answer
  • Conducting "interviews" vs. taking great adverse depositions
  • Coda
 4:20 p.m. Adjourn

950 Taylor Street, Columbia, South Carolina 29201 | Phone (803) 799-6653 | Fax (803) 799-4118 | scbar-info@scbar.org