Deposition summary 2023 (guide & free examples)

This post covers everything you need to know about deposition summary

A deposition is a vital part of every trial.

It should be conducted in such a manner that it is clear to the Attorney General during the trial.

It is one of the crucial subjects to be noted in litigation that helps to understand the witness during the time of trial.

Here I will take you through;

  • What is deposition summary
  • Why do you need a deposition summary
  • Types of deposition summary
  • How to write the best deposition summary ever
  • deposition summary writing checklist
  • example of Deposition summary
  • etc

What is a deposition summary?

In short, a deposition summary is a summary of the deposition transcript.

To elaborate more, a deposition summary is a concise, factual, and precise clerical summary of the key ideas from the deposition transcript.

A deposition transcript refers to the recorded statements of the witness about everything he knows about a particular case

The statements are taken and recorded by an attorney when the witness is under oath and put in the form of questions and answers.

For example;

example of a deposition transcript
Source URL

Usually, a deposition transcript consists of hundreds of pages in form of detailed conversation as you have seen in the image above.

Thus, when those hundreds of pages are condensed and kept in the summary of only key ideas we get something we call a deposition summary.

Why deposition summary is necessary?

The whole litigation process, including discovery, trial, and motion practice, heavily relies on deposition summaries.

These summaries assist attorneys in:

  • Preparation of discoveries, responses, and interrogatories.
  • Preparation of motions and evidence during the trial
  • Examination of witness
  • Saving time by allowing them to refer to the key ideas in a short time
  • etc.

Types of deposition summary

Generally, there are three types of deposition summaries depending on how they are written;

  1. Page-line deposition
  2. Page summary deposition
  3. Topic-by-topic deposition

Page-line deposition

This is the type of depo summary that is written by taking vital information from the deposition transcript page by page.

For example, if the witness statement begins on page 2 line 13, and ends on page 3 line 2 of the transcript, in depo summary will be referred to as 2:13-3:2.

example of page-line deposition summary
Source URL

Page summary deposition

This is similar to a page-line deposition summary however with the page summary depo only one page is preferred.

If two or more pages are referred the summary will include the page range like 1-3 or 50-110 etc.

for example

3 Methods for Preparing a Deposition Summary Litigation Paralegal Tips
Source URL

Topic-by-topic deposition

As the name suggests, this is the type of depo summary which refers to a specific topic.

for example

Page(s)TopicSummary
18-19IncidentThe plaintiff was waiting for the green light at A and B junction, suddenly the defendant’s car hit the plaintiff’s car from behind
20DamageAll of the plaintiff’s car windows were broken

How to write a deposition summary

Generally writing a deposition summary involves three key steps

  1. Reading the deposition transcript: This entails going over the full transcript with a focus on the questions posed by the attorneys and the answers provided by the witnesses.
  2. Taking notes: This entails underlining the crucial details that must be contained in the summary.
  3. Summarizing: This is the actual work of summarizing your depo scripts. The format of your summary can be a table or narrative.

Now let’s break them down

Read Thoroughly

Go through the entire transcript with keen attention. Must have the ability to understand and recognize the legal points that the witness may try to eradicate.

Prepare the points

Have a clear vision of points to be noted. Be conscious of all points and their importance

Compare Depositions

Read the deposition of other witnesses, compare it, and summarize the deposition. Also, note the point that contradicts other depositions.

Don’t change the context of the material

The testimony of a witness should include whether the statement is in the context of the statement or whether they actually saw the action.

Prioritize Information

The main portion of the deposition summary is to prioritize information. The information should be summarized and should help the court to read it clearly and understand the situation.

Summarize

Go through the testimony once more and try to absorb it fully. Summarize it and make it perfect.

To make it more clear to the Attorney, draw the map, schematic diagram, and summarize.

Prepare a brief note

Make a brief note of what the witness had revealed to you in chronological order. Prepare a list and mark the points which are more important in the trial.

Proofread

After your deposition summary is completed, get it proofread by someone else to find out any spelling or grammatical errors. The proofreader may also indicate any contradiction in the summary.

Deposition summary writing checklist

  • Read and understand the deposition transcript
  • Include the case citation, name of the witness, date of deposition, location, and appearing attorneys
  • Include all points needed by an attorney
  • Do not include your personal views
  • No points repetition
  • No grammar and spelling mistakes
  • Summary comply with the transcript verbatim

Example of Deposition summary

Case: Hellen James vs. ABC Hospital
Summary of the Deposition of Bob Brown, M.D.
Date of Deposition: January 11, 20…

PAGE/LINETOPICSUMMARY
2:25-3Location ABC Hospital, 11 Health Street, Downtown, Nevada
3:11-4Appearances Isack Newton Isack & Newton, LLP- Attorney for plaintiff

Harrison Job– Attorney for defendant
5:1Name and
profession of
witness
Bob Brown, M.D.
5:2Exhibit 1 A copy of witness’ employment contract was marked for identification.
5:12-6Previous
deposition
Witness gave testimony in court once, some three years ago.
6:16-7Educational detailsIn 1980, Witness earned a degree from the University of Nevada. He earned his Doctor of Osteopathy degree from Health Science University in 1997. In July 1990, he finished his residency at the County Medical Center. he has worked for ABC Hospital his entire professional life.
8:11-8:21Witness’
medical specialty
Internal medicine has always been the focus of Witness' medical practice. In 1990, he received his internal medicine board certification. He treats exclusively in-patients at ABC Hospital because he provides hospital-based services, not outpatient care.
9-10:11Treatment of
Kendrick
Kendrick had frequently received medical care from Witness in the past.
Prior to this deposition, the witness had very briefly reviewed James's medical records earlier in the day. In addition to the documents, he also got a firsthand account of Kendrick's medical care in August and September of 20....
11-13:21Exhibit 1 ABC Hospital Medical Records were marked for identification
For a full deposition summary please click download

Final Words

These are the key things that you have to keep in mind while preparing a deposition summary. A deposition summary helps a lot to lawyers and also those who are involved in the trial.

This process of summarising will take some time.

The lawyers can utilize this time in concentrating on other tasks which are also related to the same trial.

The main advantage of a deposition summary is its usefulness for everyone like the court, firms, clients, etc.

Isack Kimaro
Isack Kimaro

Editor-in-chief and founder of sherianajamii.com. Holder of Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) and Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice. Lawyer by profession and blogger by passion