SEO Deposition as an SEO Expert Witness in Litigation

So lately I had the chance to have my deposition taken as an SEO Expert Witness in a Litigation Case and to see someone have their deposition taken as well. Just so you know what a deposition is, here is a good writeup:

In the law of the United States, a deposition is the out-of-court oral testimony of a witness that is reduced to writing for later use in court or for discovery purposes. It is commonly used in litigation in the United States and Canada and is almost always conducted outside of court by the lawyers themselves (that is, the judge is not present to supervise the examination). In other countries, testimony is usually preserved for future use by way of live testimony in the courtroom, or by way of written affidavit. Source

So first you better wear a nice shirt and a tie. Dress like you are actually going to court. It was the first time I have ever had my deposition taken and I have never even walked into a court building of any nature. I had a few speeding tickets but I paid them over the phone. So back to it, make sure you dress your Sunday best and get a haircut if you can.

Next make sure you re-read your report(s). Make sure you know them and any and all citations that you used. As long as you remember where the content is you will be good. Now one thing that kinda opened my eyes were the hypothetical questions. I have never had anyone ask me so many hypothetical SEO questions in my life. So be prepared for that. Be prepared to speak clearly and concise. Do not interrupt the lawyer, you will be tempted to speak fast as the lawyer will start rapid firing questions. I had a very hard time with it. You have to wait and let the lawyer ask the question, wait for the counsel on your side to object or anything and then you speak. So it is a circus. Kinda fun and it took me till the last hour to finally get the hang of it. I can only imagine that I will get better with time at the process. Expect a full day with breaks every hour and a lunch. Expect it to be brutal. Take it like an adult and do not get angry.

I had someone say to me “…you will start the day with $100 credibility bucks, your goal is to end the day with $20 in your pocket on a deposition. Enough to get you home.” At the end of all of it, it is wise to make sure you have reviewed all of your documents and you are confident in your report(s). If you are confident and you know what is in your report you will be successful in your deposition.

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