Reducing discovery costs

by Walter Olson on March 13, 2012

Famed Texas lawyer Stephen Susman has a bunch of ideas. [Dan Fisher, Forbes](& Miller)

{ 1 comment }

1 DEM 03.13.12 at 2:03 pm

He is right about time limits on depositions. It would make a huge difference. At things now stand, most depositions are pure fishing expeditions. The lawyer is usually unprepared to present a focused line of questioning because he has no need to do so. The costs of this are enormous, as it forces deposition prep sessions to be marathons that require looking under every possible stone.

I have found that with sufficient preparation an effective depisition can be taken in 2-3 hours in most cases. You just skip all of the fluff and get right to the heart of it. Lawyers don’t do this now because they don’t have to do it, have no incentive to be efficient and, to be honest, a lot of them are just not very good at taking depositions. The rule should be no deposition may exceed 4 hours of on-the-record time absent a prior showing of good cause.

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