A Civil Action - The Woburn Toxic Trial > Instructor Materials > Module 10 - Deposition of Witnesses

Deposition of Witnesses

How to use this module

The processes of conducting a deposition and developing strategies for being deposed or taking depositions are described in this module. The webpages herein reference to The Federal Rules of Evidence and excerpts from the actual depositions of various experts in the Woburn Toxic Trial including John Drobinski, George Pinder, John Guswa, and others. This module describes the setting for taking depositions, how attorneys slowly extract information from those being deposed, and the typical proceedings during deposition. This module can be a stand alone, but the information is best coupled with the modules where students prepare court exhibits to augment and display their technical arguments. This module stresses the need for clarity and parsimony when presenting technical arguments with opposing counsel.

Module design perspective

The goal of this module is to provide students with an overview of how depositions are conducted from the perspective of the different roles and characters. Participating in a deposition, whether as an expert or as an attorney is a "cat and mouse" game designed to discover what the expert knows and how the expert will present testimony. The creators of this module have participated in numerous depositions and have first-hand experience with the interpretation, or often misinterpretation, of data that occurs between deposition and testimony. Clear understanding and conveyance of scientific data is a keystone of this learning activity.

Activity Page

Deposition of Witness Activity Page

Student Assignment

Deposition of Witness Assignment

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