q Navigating Depositions in Canada: Defense Strategies
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Depositions, or examinations for discovery, play a significant role in Canada’s legal system as they enable parties in a lawsuit to gather evidence from the opposing side.

The deponent is sworn in and questioned under oath by the opposing counsel, with the goal of collecting information and evidence that can be used in court. However, the process can be challenging for deponents, particularly if they are unfamiliar with the deposition process.

As a lawyer defending a deposition in Canada, it is crucial to be well-prepared and to have a solid strategy in place. This article will explore effective defence strategies for navigating depositions in Canada.

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Navigating Depositions in Canada

Understanding the Deposition Process

To navigate depositions in Canada effectively, lawyers must first have a clear understanding of the deposition process. In Canada, depositions typically take place after a statement of claim or statement of defence has been filed.

The goal of the deposition is to gather evidence that can be used in court, but it can also be used to assess the credibility of witnesses and to identify weaknesses in the opposing party’s case. It is essential to note that everything said during a deposition is under oath and can be used in court.

Preparing for the Deposition

One of the most critical defence strategies for navigating depositions in Canada is to be well-prepared. This involves reviewing all relevant documents, such as pleadings, affidavits, and expert reports, and speaking with the deponent to ensure they understand the process and what to expect during the deposition.

During the preparation phase, lawyers must identify any potential weaknesses in the case and develop a plan to address them. This includes anticipating potential lines of questioning from the opposing counsel and preparing the deponent to respond confidently and effectively.

The logistics of the deposition must also be considered during preparation. Factors such as whether the deposition will be conducted in-person or virtually, what technology will be required, and who will be present are all essential factors to consider.

Defend Depositions in Canada

During the deposition, the deponent will be asked a series of questions by the opposing counsel. To navigate depositions in Canada effectively, deponents must remain calm, and focused, and listen carefully to each question before responding.

One effective defence strategy is to answer each question truthfully and directly, without offering any additional information. It is also important to avoid speculation or guessing and to answer only what is known or can be verified.

If deponents are unsure of how to answer a question, they can ask for clarification or take a break to confer with their lawyer. Taking the time to provide a thoughtful and accurate response is better than rushing through and risking making a mistake.

Objecting to Questions

In some cases, opposing counsel may ask questions that are inappropriate or beyond the scope of the deposition. In these situations, it may be appropriate to object.

Objections during a deposition in Canada are typically made on the basis of relevance, privilege, or form. If the deponent believes a question is not relevant to the case or is protected by privilege, they may object. Similarly, if a question is unclear or ambiguous, the deponent may request clarification.

It is essential to object respectfully during a deposition without interrupting the opposing counsel. If a dispute cannot be resolved, it may be necessary to seek direction from the court.

Closing the Deposition

Once the deposition is complete, it is crucial to review the transcript carefully to ensure it is accurate and complete. Addressing any errors or omissions promptly is essential to avoid potential issues in court.

Statistics reveal that 30.5% of civil litigation cases in Canada go to trial, with 69.5% being resolved through out-of-court settlements or other means. In cases that go to trial, depositions can be instrumental in providing evidence and building a strong case.

How do you prepare for deposition defence?

Deposition defence is a critical aspect of the litigation process, and proper preparation is essential to protect clients’ interests. In this article, we will explore how to prepare for a deposition defence.

The deposition process is an essential part of the litigation process and enables opposing parties to gather information and evidence from each other. In Canada, civil litigation cases take an average of 525 days to resolve, with only 30.5% of cases going to trial. This makes depositions an important tool for building a strong case.

Defend Depositions in Canada

Defend Depositions in Canada

Preparation for deposition defence should involve a thorough review of all relevant documents related to the case, including pleadings, affidavits, and expert reports. It is also crucial to speak with the deponent to ensure they understand the deposition process and what to expect. By anticipating potential lines of questioning and developing a plan to address them, lawyers can prepare their clients effectively.

Identifying key themes that may arise during the deposition is another important aspect of deposition defence preparation. These themes may relate to legal issues or witness credibility. By identifying these themes, lawyers can develop a strategic plan for the deposition and prepare their clients accordingly.

Practicing with the deponent is a crucial aspect of deposition defence preparation. Mock depositions can help prepare the deponent for the types of questions that may be asked during the actual deposition. This can help the deponent become more comfortable with the process and ensure that they are confident and prepared during the actual deposition.

Reviewing Case Law

Reviewing case law related to the case can also be helpful in deposition defence preparation. It can help lawyers anticipate potential lines of questioning and identify legal arguments that may be relevant during the deposition. However, it is important to note that case law should not be relied upon solely to prepare for deposition defence.

In conclusion, preparing for deposition defence requires a thorough understanding of the deposition process, identifying key themes, practicing with the deponent, and reviewing case law. Depositions are an essential part of the litigation process, and it is crucial to be well-prepared when defending one. By being well-prepared, lawyers can ensure that a deposition process is a valuable tool for protecting their client’s interests.

Should I ask questions when defending a deposition?

As a defending lawyer, your role during a deposition is to protect your client’s interests. You can do this by asking questions that clarify issues, uncover weaknesses in the opposing party’s case, and develop a stronger defence.

However, it is important to note that the types of questions that can be asked during a deposition are limited. Questions must be relevant to the case and cannot be harassing, oppressive, or unduly repetitive. It is also important to avoid asking leading questions, which can influence the deponent’s response.

Ultimately, the decision to ask questions during a deposition will depend on the specifics of the case and the deposition. As a defending lawyer, it is important to weigh the potential benefits of asking questions against the risks and limitations of doing so. Consulting with experienced litigation counsel can help you make an informed decision on whether to ask questions during a deposition.

What are valid objections in a deposition?

In a deposition, lawyers can object to questions that are improper, irrelevant, or violate the rules of evidence. These objections are essential to protect the interests of the deponent and ensure that the deposition is conducted fairly and within the bounds of the law.

Several valid objections can be made during a deposition. Relevance objections are the most common, as they can be raised when the question asked is not relevant to the case or the line of questioning being pursued. Form objections can be made when a question is unclear, confusing, or ambiguous, and privilege objections can be made when a question requires the deponent to reveal information that is protected by privilege.

Defend Depositions in Canada

Hearsay objections can be raised when the opposing counsel asks the deponent to testify to information obtained from someone else, which may be unreliable. Harassing or oppressive objections can also be made when a question is considered harassing or oppressive to the deponent.

Statistics show that in Canada, civil litigation cases take an average of 525 days from the time of filing to resolution. Depositions can be an essential tool in building a strong case and providing evidence for trials. In 2019, the United States saw an estimated 4.5 million depositions, with an average cost of $2,500 and lasting for 2.5 hours.

Overall, valid objections during a deposition are critical in protecting the deponent’s interests and upholding the integrity of the process. Lawyers should make objections in a respectful manner and avoid disrupting the deposition unnecessarily. By understanding the valid objections that can be raised, lawyers can better protect their clients during the litigation process.

We hope you found this guide on how to defend depositions in Canada helpful.