If you’re in a lawsuit and going to be deposed, keep this in mind: the attorneys questioning you are not interested in the truth. They are there to size you up, learn all they can about your weaknesses and your thinking process so they can devise ways to get around your truth come trial time.
They will ask you questions about things they have no business asking, that have no bearing on the case whatsoever, and will demand that you answer them. Why? Because they can.
If you’re there representing yourself, they will establish early on that they are the big bullies in the room and that you must, by law, dance to their tune. Sometimes they bring their clients to stare you down while you testify. Sometimes those clients, as in my case, will behave like an ass, snickering as she (the realtor) huddles with her attorney and making strange noises like an elephant. Don’t let it bother you. There’s worse to come.
The deposition is the playground of attorneys, maybe more so than the trial itself. At least at trial you have a monitor, the judge, demanding that you all play nice. Though, to tell you the truth, I don’t expect much fairness at trial either. When the cards are stacked against you every step of the way, thanks to a preposterous legal system, all you can do is tread water until you drown.
Four Against One
I received notice of my deposition from one attorney, the one handling the case on behalf of both bully banks. When I arrived at the deposition, lo and behold, three other opposing counsels were there to interrogate me. None of them had provided me with the required prior written notice per California civil code.
One of the attorneys for the defendants who came to my home and threatened me and tried to break in said they (the attorneys) are allowed to break this law. Why am I not surprised?
A Simple Courtesy … How Nice
The law offices were fairly comfortable, considering; coffee, water and soft drinks were set up on a sideboard. I realized this was more for the benefit of the attorneys than for the persons being interrogated. How do I know this? The attorneys always get validated parking while deponents get grilled then bounced out the door. The attorney running the deposition was kind enough to agree to give us validated parking after my partner said we wouldn’t show up without it, only fair considering how far we had to drive.
During the interrogation I did have a cup of coffee to refresh my weary brain. I half-way expected them to dust for fingerprints after I left the building, so I made sure to wipe the cup clean after use.
Grilled, Medium Rare
First to take a crack at me was the host attorney for the banks.
I drank lots of water and coffee and then took lots of breaks to eliminate said water and coffee. It seemed a prudent course of action to remain cool, calm and collected given that all that was missing from this inquisition was a rack and the screams from other inmates in adjoining conference rooms.
Ms. Slime, the realtor defendant who was present, made her elephant noises and chuckles as I testified. She exhibited the same disrespectful behavior toward me as what caused this whole lawsuit to develop in the first place. And, not a single attorney admonished her for her behavior. Now that I think about it, maybe she was the RACK and I was supposed to scream in agony as she stared me down. I guess even she couldn’t stand it after awhile; she left right at the lunch break.
The banks’ interrogation was extensive, at least on one level. An extraordinary amount of time was spent NOT questioning me about what actually happened, but rather on who was writing funny and nasty things about his clients on the Internet. I’ve seen the stuff to which he was referring and countless other material from frustrated people all over the country. This Big Bully Bank is definitely an entity that deserves whatever people are dishing out against it. As far as I’m concerned, however, I started my legal blog long after my deposition. It seemed the right thing to do, given how abusive the bully banks have been toward me over quite a long period of time.
The second attorney questioning me was the one for the property management company I refer to as “PMS”, the banks’ agent, that issued orders for the local trash company to descend on my home. He seemed particularly fascinated with my acting career and spent nearly the whole time allotted to him questioning me about my theories and process of acting and discussing roles I had done and how I prepared for them. The excuse he gave was that he had an interest in the profession. I think he was really interviewing me to see if I was good enough to perform at one of his kid’s birthday parties.
After about twenty minutes of this nonsense, my co-plaintiff slipped me a note:
Attorney #1: Mr. “B” just handed you a note. What does it say?
Me: I’ll let him tell you.
Attorney #2: No. He’s not on the record.
Me: (reading) “He is fucking with you. Stay relaxed.”
Afterwards, I told him I wished I had an agent as interested in my career as he seems to be. Even though we’re on opposite sides in this stupid lawsuit, I think I’ll invite him to my next show, whenever that may be. Who knows, maybe he can introduce me to a competent, go-getter of an entertainment attorney who will also be interested in my career. Is that too much to ask?
One Honk Too Many
Next up was the obnoxious attorney for the elephant noise making realtor. That would be the blockhead. He had the nerve to have called us Plaintiffs “arrogant” (and rude) in case management papers filed with the court. I’ll tell you what’s arrogant, defending a lying obnoxious fiend of a client, lying in court papers, lying and refusing to properly answer discovery demands, ignoring letters seeking to resolve issues of discovery. That’s ARROGANT. He asked me a question and after I answered it, he belligerently asked it again … and again until I finally got fed up with him and dared raised my voice … to wake him the hell up. If I had an apple available I could have hit him in the noggin with it, although I doubt he would have had any “Eureka” moments even if he had been struck with a cannon ball.
No Truth, Just Foul
The attorney for the trash out company was next to toss questions at me. Actually, most attorneys really weren’t that interested in learning the truth of events that played out; they’re only interested in how much money you can prove that you lost. So if it’s emotional damage you’re claiming and you didn’t admit yourself to the local psych ward and get bundled up in a straight jacket for months or years on end while being pumped with anti-psychotics, they don’t believe you have a claim against their clients.
They all ended their respective question sessions with “So tell me, what is it you think my clients did to you?” My mind went totally blank for a long time because I kept thinking “Were you not paying attention for the last two years?”
I eventually came to and answered that question to the best of my ability.
The defendants trespassed, attacked, threatened, lied, cheated, concealed, then they lied, cheated, concealed even more. It’s just that now it’s their attorneys doing the attacking, threatening and concealing. I so look forward to trial. It’s gonna be a hell of a show.
When we left the law office, I noticed the lead attorney on his knees drawing a chalk outline where I last STOOD.