My son Clark sent me this link this morning and I could only shake my head. Unfortunately, some people think they can misbehave in depositions and court and that it won’t come back to hurt them. Keep in mind that rapper Lil Wayne was the one suing Quincy Jones over a documentary that the latter made about him. So he is trying to win his case rather than playing defense and trying not to lose the case. So it behooves him to put his best foot forward in depositions rather than act like the fool he is shown to be in the video.
It brought to mind some similar deposition moments I have witnessed. The fact of the matter is that you can rarely win your case in depositions but you can certainly lose it. There are a few rules for depositions that I tell my clients:
- Always tell the truth. Seems simple but often clients want to embellish their story in the hope that it gives them an advantage. Usually they get caught up in the lie and only hurt their case.
- Dress for the occasion. I have gotten away from getting totally decked out in a suit for depositions but you should be presentable and look like you are taking part in a legal proceeding and not going to the gym. Lil Wayne in the video sends a terrible message with what he is wearing.
- Keep your cool. Lots of folks think that attorneys are out to trick them in depositions into saying something that will hurt them or asking questions that the client thinks aren’t relevant. While I am sure there are some attorneys who do try and get under your skin purposefully, most do not. They are just there to gather information. And the scope of inquiry (the area in which they can ask questions) is pretty broad – even if you don’t think so. So just relax, answer the question truthfully, answer only the question asked and not anything else, and don’t lose your temper. Certainly don’t do what Lil Wayne does in the video and threaten the other attorney!
Depositions are a necessary part of the civil litigation process. Don’t take them as a joke and try and sabotage the process as done in the video. And above all else, listen to your attorney.