The other day, Dr. Flea let us in on his trip to see a lawyer after getting deposed. Now, we hear what getting deposed is like.
The experience of being deposed yesterday can be crystallized down to two question, the first and the last.
After I was sworn in, the plaintiff's lawyer began by observing that I had been deposed in another malpractice case. I must have furrowed my brow or made some sort of face, because his first question to me was the following:
"You looked perplexed! Do you not recall ever having been deposed?"
For those readers of Flea who have no idea what a deposition by an adversarial lawyer entails, it will suffice to say that it is an experience one never forgets. The question was not meant to solicit information.
I've heard that muggers in New York City would often punch their victims in the face upon encountering them, so as to weaken their will before robbing them. I suspect the question posed to me was the jurisprudential equivalent. I tried my best to appear impassive and to answer in the affirmative: Yes, I remember.
The last questions came after the plaintiff's lawyer had spent a long time staring at his papers, apparently having asked every question regarding the case he could think of. So he changed the subject.
"At your last place of employment (where the event for which I am being sued took place), did you ever have a performance review?" He then asked me to recall anything I could remember from these reviews and whether there was written documentation of them.
Now, I'm not a lawyer, but I am the son of a lawyer, and I know that the counsel never asks a question to which he does not already know the answer. In this case, the lawyer had my complete file from my previous job in front of him, including my performance reviews. He meant to ask me about them because he must have read something unfavorable written about me in them.
I can assure my faithful readers that there is nothing in these performance reviews that has anything to do with the cases for which I am being sued. The plaintiff's lawyer was looking for material that might suggest that my former colleagues believed I suck as a physician.
If any lawyers are reading this and thinking that I am being hyper-sensitive, please remember that gratuitous cruelty is not part of Flea's typical work-day. For the attorney who took my deposition on the other hand, insult and embarrassment of his opponent's client are just part of another day at the office.