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Deposition Derailed


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I haven't seen anything on the board about this so hopefully someone can give me some advice. I was the deponent today and objected to some of the early questions - where'd I go to daycare? what's my favorite color? etc. Then the attorney started asking questions about a specific issue and I filed a motion for an order of protection yesterday about this issue. He said I had to answer and that if I didn't he'd have the judge make me pay his fees for the day. I said so be it, I'm not answering until the issue is ruled on. Now, I had previously written a letter to the judge about this issue and he denied the order because it couldn't be granted under the reason I requested it. Well, I submitted a formal motion detailing other reasons (hopefully that doesn't make the judge angry or annoy him) and I'm waiting on that ruling. Anyway, any advice for how to respond to this application to make me pay his fees? I plan to just explain why I didn't answer but I didnt' know if that was enough. I was told later that the attorney should have called judges' chambers for clarification rather than stopping the whole thing. I really think he did it to intimidate me and see what I'd do.

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Since this is a debt-collection forum, I'm assuming you were deposed over some sort of past debt.

The first thing that comes to mind is why the opposing attorney needs to know where you went for daycare as a child and what your favorite color is? It's hardly relavent to a debt collection suit. Refusing to answer irrelavent questions is not just a priviledge granted to lawyers representing creditors, you have that right as well.

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The trend, especially in NYS, is to let deposition questions go unimpeded and save any evidentiary objections until trial or another time when the testimony might be sought to be used. I am guessing he started asking you where you banked and what kid of assets you had. Typical collector garbage. I can't say what the judge will do, but I can't see him hitting a pro se litigant for fees or costs for questions that are irrelevant.

He should have just called the judge to get a "ruling." Undoubtedly, the judge would have yelled at both of you.

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Thanks Methuss and Recovering. He didn't ask about where I bank but he wanted to know about all of my previous schooling and I just thought it was silly and a method of trying to exhaust me with trivial fluff questions. Besides I didn't think I should answer the information I've requested a protective order for until the ruling is entered (I thought if I did answer and the ruling came back in my favor then I would have shot myself in the foot). We'll see what happens but I am preparing my counter-argument now. I guess this is where experience really begins to help those who have it and hurt those who don't. Live and learn...::drowning::

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Lawyers ask all kinds of inane questions that have nothing at all to do with whatever case they are on. My belief is that they are just prolonging the deposition (more time, more $$ in their pocket). But it is also the tactic to get the person confused and sidetracked (why would they ask me something that stupid???) and then come at them with the real questions. So, the person is obviously not concentrating on the right question (which could get them into hot water later if they answer absently) and focusing on why they are asking such stupid questions.

It's a ploy to take you off guard. I know in MA, questions have to be answered in a deposition, but you can object to the question (but have to answer it) and if it becomes an issue later, a judge will rule on whether or not it is admissable. The only time I believe you don't have to answer is involving privileged info - but even then a judge can force you to answer at a later date.

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