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Strategies for Difficult Deposition Situations: Post-Break Answer Changes, Rehabilitation, Coaching, Over-Objecting

Practical Tips From the Perspective of Deposing and Defending Counsel

Recording of a 90-minute CLE video webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

The CLE webinar will offer guidance for navigating a number of deposition (or trial) witness difficulties and offer strategies and practical tips from the perspective of both the attorney deposing or examining a witness and counsel defending the witness. The panel will discuss strategies and solutions for both in-person and remote scenarios, including the problem of witness coaching.


When attempting to examine or defend witnesses at trial or during a deposition, every litigator needs a plan for certain difficult situations whether caused by the witness or opposing counsel.

The list of what might make a witness difficult is long, and the panel will review how to address recurring behaviors. Of special interest are what to do when a witness changes an answer after a break, and the more frequent situation of witnesses, e.g., officers of non-U.S. companies, whose primary language is not English.

The panel will offer guidance on how to rehabilitate witnesses in two very different situations: witnesses who have lied in the past--either in other venues or in the case--and witnesses who become flustered or overwhelmed during direct testimony and need help regaining their composure. As time permits, the panel will consider when it is advisable to depose one's own witness on the record.

Difficulties often arise from the conduct of counsel. The panel plans to discuss the problem of witness coaching in remote depositions and over-objecting, which can be both an obstructionist tactic and a form of coaching.

Listen as this experienced panel helps counsel plan ahead for unexpected or difficult testimonial situations.



  1. Witness difficulties
    1. Failure to appear, including failure to produce competent Rule 30(b)(6) witness
    2. Evasive answers (overly literal, refusal to answer, delaying/stalling/running clock out/bullies)
    3. New answers after a break
    4. Non-English as a first language witnesses
    5. Questioning one's own witness
  2. Rehabilitating the overwhelmed witness
  3. Rehabilitating the dishonest witness
  4. Counsel difficulties
    1. Witness coaching
    2. Over-objecting
    3. ABA Formal Opinion 508


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • How can attorneys prepare for the unexpected?
  • What are best strategies and practices if contacting the court during a deposition?
  • What can be done when the problem is one's own client or witness?


Bouchard, David
David Bouchard

Finch McCranie

Mr. Bouchard is an accomplished trial lawyer who represents companies and individuals in complex criminal and civil...  |  Read More

Cochran, Anthony
Anthony L. Cochran

Smith Gambrell & Russell

Mr. Cochran represents individuals and businesses in a wide variety of matters. He has tried jury trials, bench trials,...  |  Read More

Kornblum, Guy
Guy O. Kornblum

Guy O. Kornblum

Mr. Kornblum has specialized as a trial and appellate lawyer for 40 years. He has handled over 3,500...  |  Read More

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Strafford will process CLE credit for one person on each recording. All formats include course handouts.

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