Depositions the telltale heart of modern discovery
As large law firms in large lawsuits seek to proliferate billable time by nonequity partners and associates, discovery has become more and more document intensive and the art of conducting meaningful depositions is rapidly being lost. The tendency among large time billing law firms seeking to “staff” litigation with this many billing timekeepers as possible is to commence discovery with demand for production of documents and then follow those demands with written interrogatories. The litigation partners in these firms hold a very cherished but profoundly erroneous belief that depositions should be reserved for pinpointing particular weaknesses after they have been discovered through interrogatories. This reasoning is supported by the naive belief that depositions are somehow less rigorous than other document intensive forms of discovery. These misconceptions often become the fatal flaws in both the prosecution and defense of modern high-stakes litigation.