Labor and Employment Law

Ca. Labor & Emp't Rev. MARCH 2023, Volume 37, No. 2



Scott Stillman

In nearly every case, something unexpected happens. I still remember one of the first depositions I took. I was representing a waitress who had been sexually assaulted at the restaurant where she worked. A co-worker witnessed the whole incident. Ahead of taking the co-worker’s deposition, I spoke to him by phone, during which he corroborated the details of the assault exactly as my client said it happened. I thought, "this should be a pretty simple, run-of-the-mill deposition." But I was in for a surprise.

At the deposition, when I asked him the same questions I had asked on the phone, all his "yes" answers suddenly became "no" answers. Of course, he even denied that he gave me different answers when we had spoken by phone. It was devastating for the case and my client. We had not expected that to happen and we were caught blindsided. Although it was not the outcome we anticipated, we still worked with what we had and settled the case.

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