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Well, That Escalated Quickly: Attorney Flips Out During Deposition
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Summary: A video written and directed by Brett Weiner shows the “other side” of depositions–what happens when attorneys simply can’t stand a witness’ dodging of simple questions any longer.

The New York Times posted a hilarious video, written and directed by Brett Weiner, that demonstrates just how heated a deposition can get. The clip, called “Verbatim,” is based directly upon a deposition transcript from an Ohio case. The Cuyahoga County Recorder’s Office had been sued for charging $2 per page for photocopies of public documents. The deposition depicted is of an employee from that office, who, clearly prepared for the deposition by his attorney, enrages opposing counsel.

  
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Depositions are the questioning of witnesses by opposing counsel to gather evidence for a case. Whereas many members of the general public, and likely many attorneys, view sitting through a deposition as a painfully boring ordeal, this video shows the more exciting side of depositions—mainly because, once in a while, an attorney will flip out.

The deposing attorney, Dave Marburger of BakerHostetler, starts the deposition with a simple question—if the government office had photocopy machines. Apparently baffled by such a tough question, the witness asks, “What do you mean by ‘photocopy machine’?” Marburger, dumbfounded, responds, “You don’t have an understanding of what a photocopy machine is?” The witness’ attorney promptly objects to Marburger’s tone.

After some more back and forth, it’s clear that Marburger is beginning to lose his cool, especially after the opposing attorney states that there are many different types of photocopy machines—for example, photostatic, xerographic, and scanning.

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The witness continues to insist that he just wants to “answer the question to the best of [his] ability.”

Tension continues to rise, with Marburger at one point telling the witness, “If you feel stupid, it’s not because I’m making you feel that way.”



At one point, Marburger flips out on the witness, while opposing counsel objects.

After all the drama, the case never even went to trial.

You’ll have to check out the video to watch this priceless exchange between counsel and the witness.

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