Deposition & Court Testimony
by David Pascoe
Because boats and yachts have a tendency to produce litigation, the marine surveyor as investigator inevitably ends up being a witness in such cases.
The frequency with which investigators are involved in litigation is fairly high so that it is prudent for him to improve his testimonial skills in order to better serve his clients.
Since the American judicial system is an adversarial system, it is a fundamentally hostile environment; it's a place where well-trained lawyers are presented with unsuspecting witnesses whom they do their best to discredit, humiliate and make fools of.
Some have likened it to the Roman Coliseum where unarmed Christians were offered up to do battle with the lions.
The good news is that this one-sided affair only exists if the witness is untrained and inexperienced, and that is something that we can change.
We would have little need to educate ourselves as professional witnesses if the purpose of taking our testimony was to simply derive the truth. But getting at the truth of the matter is a partisan competition and we are partisan witnesses.
That is, we are witnesses for one side or the other. There will be much that we have to say that the other side does not want to hear, and will therefore seek to discredit our testimony and resort to trickery to try to trip us up.
Our objective in self-education is to come to an understanding of the process and the tricks of the legal trade so as to avoid becoming victims of clever tactics that are designed to discredit our testimony.
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Table of Contents: Chapter Chapter 13
13. Deposition & Court Testimony 445
Material Witness vs Expert Witness 446
Differences between Depositions and Trials 447
Clarify Your Role 447
What to Bring to Deposition or Trial 447
Your Qualifications 448
Resumes or CV's 448
Challenges to Expertise 448
Attacks on Personal Credibility 451
Two Key Elements to success 451
The Importance of Impartiality 452
Opposing Attorneys 454
Opposing Lawyer Attitudes 454
A Trial Lawyer's Most Powerful Weapon 454
The Fear Factor 455
Deposition Advice for First Timers 456
Notice of Deposition (Subpoena) 459
Mistakes, New Evidence & Changed Opinions 460
Publishing History 462
Review and Signing Depositions 462
Court Testimony 463
First Time Court Testimony 463
Pretrial Conference 464
Preparation for Court Testimony 465
Maintaining Consistency 466
Court Trials 467
On The Stand 467
Look at Your Lawyer Occasionally 470
Humility vs. Self Confidence 470
Proper Attitude of Expert Witnesses 471
Hostile Examinations 472
Body Language 473
Recovering From Mistakes 474
Loose Lips Sink Ships 476
Dealing with Tricks and Traps 476
Opening Questions 476
Trick Questions 478
Wearing Down the Witness 481
Repetitious Questions 481
Silence Is Golden 481
Interrupts with Another Question 481
Testing Recall 482
"You're getting paid to testify" Question 482
No Zingers, Please 483
Two More Rules 483
Equivocal Answers 484
Just Answer the Question 484
Clarifying Answers and The Whole Truth 485
Compound Questions 486
Mischaracterizing Previous Testimony 487
The Set Up 487
Record Keeping 487
The Expert Witness 489
Conflicting Roles of Experts 489
Curriculum Vitae 490
Retention as Expert 493
Expert Witness Contract 493
The Non-Expert Witness 494
Case Review 495
Case Summaries 497
Deposition Review 498
Document Review 498
Expert Witness Testimony 500
Expand your marine business!
Conducting marine investigations can help free you from the limitations of a seasonal business and expand your business opportunities and income.
hires marine investigators?
In addition to insurance companies, specialist investigators merge their specialized pleasure craft knowledge with investigative abilities for a broad range of clientele.
can range from boat owners with serious warranty claim disputes and
faulty repair issues to being hired by lawyers as investigators as
either fact witnesses or expert witnesses.
Marine investigators often work for boat owners who are having trouble with insurance claim issues, assisting the boat owner obtain a proper claims settlement.
by David H. Pascoe
Publisher: D. H. Pascoe & Co., Inc.
David Pascoe - Biography
David Pascoe is a second generation marine surveyor in his family who began his surveying career at age 16 as an apprentice in 1965 as the era of wooden boats was drawing to a close.
Certified by the National Association of Marine Surveyors in 1972, he has conducted over 5,000 pre purchase surveys in addition to having conducted hundreds of boating accident investigations, including fires, sinkings, hull failures and machinery failure analysis.
Over forty years of knowledge and experience are brought to bear in following books. David Pascoe is the author of:
- "Mid Size Power Boats" (2003)
- "Buyers’ Guide to Outboard Boats" (2002)
- "Surveying Fiberglass Power Boats" (2001, 2nd Edition - 2005)
- "Marine Investigations" (2004).
In addition to readers in the United States, boaters and boat industry professionals worldwide from over 70 countries have purchased David Pascoe's books, since introduction of his first book in 2001.
In 2012, David Pascoe has retired from marine surveying business at age 65.
On November 23rd, 2018, David Pascoe has passed away at age 71.