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Family Law Deposition Questions - Appropriate Objections in a Deposition

Have you ever taken a deposition and had your opponent continually assert inappropriate objections? One after the other: "Irrelevant;" "hearsay;" "assumes facts not in evidence," "calls for an opinion." Obnoxious, isn't it?

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PRLog (Press Release) - Jan. 19, 2011 - Family Law Deposition Questions

Have you ever taken a deposition and had your opponent continually assert inappropriate objections? One after the other: "Irrelevant;" "hearsay;" "assumes facts not in evidence," "calls for an opinion." Obnoxious, isn't it?

Or worse yet, an attorney makes speaking objections blatantly designed to coach the witness, such as: "Calculated to mislead the jury into believing his side of the story, i.e., that the cardiologist failed to review the abnormal EKG and focused exclusively on the mucus in the lungs, when in fact the evidence suggests that the EKG was not conducted until after this witness examined the patient. I instruct the witness not to answer on the grounds that doing so would be prejudicial."

Considering that depositions cost a thousand dollars or more to take and sometimes require weeks or months to convene, inappropriate objections can be pretty infuriating. This begs the question: Which objections are appropriate in a deposition?

The first thing to remember is that depositions are for conducting discovery. And the scope of permissible discovery includes "any matter not privileged, that is relevant to the subject matter involved . . . [that is] itself admissible in evidence or appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence." Code of Civil Procedure §2017.010. Get Internet #1 – Family Law Deposition Questions @ http://witnesscure01.webs.com and become the best Attorney Ever!

Therefore, at all times during a deposition, be attuned for questions that seek information that is privileged, not relevant to the subject matter or that are not reasonably calculated to the discovery of admissible evidence. Objections to such questions, if well-taken, are most likely to be proper.

Privileges are fairly easy to grasp and "not reasonably calculated" questions are those questions that could only logically uncover inadmissible matter. The harder concept to understand is "not relevant to the subject matter." This is not the same thing as "relevancy" as a test for "admissibility," as used in Evidence Code §350. Rather, "relevant to the subject matter" for purposes of discovery is best thought of as helpful for evaluating the case, preparing for trial or facilitating settlement. Gonzalez v. Superior Court (City of San Fernando) (1995) 33 Cal. App.4th 1539, 1546.) Also, there is a balance that comes into play when probing into irrelevant matter. Courts consider whether the benefit of allowing the discovery outweighs the burden. See, Bridgestone/Firestone v. Superior Court (Rios) (1992) 7 Cal.App.4th 1384, 1391.

The main thing to remember is that the scope of permissible discovery is very broad. "Reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence" means that you are allowed to probe into areas that may themselves not be admissible, if doing so would shed light on other evidence that is admissible. See, Greyhound Corp. v. Superior Court (Clay) (1961) 56 Cal.2d 355, 384. Therefore, the scope of proper grounds for objecting to questions in a deposition is narrower than at trial. Get Internet #1 – Family Law Deposition Questions @ http://witnesscure01.webs.com and become the best Attorney Ever!

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Get Internet #1 – Family Law Deposition Questions @ http://witnesscure01.webs.com and become the best Attorney Ever!

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