Has anyone ever had to give a deposition? I have been subpoenaed to give a deposition to a defendants attorney in a law suit filed by my client who is suing them for “failure to disclose” certain items in a house I inspected back in October 2007. The problems were discovered several months after my client took possession of the property, ie. hidden moisture damage behind door casing and drywall, and minor water staining on the underside of the main floor due to leaking french doors on an exterior wall on both the upper and lower levels. During the inspection nothing was noticeable otherwise it would have been reported on. I returned to the property after the problems were discovered and was told by my client that he had a door contractor come out and adjust the doors and re-caulk the exterior, but after this work was done a heavy rain storm occurred and water leaked past the doors and damaged the suspeneded ceiling tiles in the lower level, this is when the water stains on the underside of the sub floor were discovered.
The long and short of it is, my client never once pointed his finger at me for missing this problem, but is blaming the seller, who built the home, he is supposedly a contractor, for incorrectly installing the doors, and for using doors that were not suitable for this application. My client has since spent over $20,000 on replacing the doors, and I guess this is what he is suing for. There were other problems found after contractors who my client had hired to do some remodeling work that was concealed from view inside other walls inside the home, but not made an issure of.
Any comments or thoughts on this subject? I have spoken to my attorney and he has told me that they, the defendants attorney is on a fact finding mission looking for ways to counter this law suit.
A side note, during the intial inspection, I had to constantly look for my client, he was to busy chatting with the agents and wandering off instead of following me. The seller on the other hand watched me like a hawk, and he followed me during the entire inspection.
Again, let me stress this point, all of the problems that the client discovered at a later date were not visible during the inspection, and for me to have found them destructive testing would have been performed.

Depositions are usually pretty strait forward. The attorney will ask you a series of questions that you will answer truthfully and fully. Now, the trick is just that…answer the questions truthfully and fully but don’t offer up anything else and try not to become defensive. You are not a defendant…yet…keep it that way. Short answers are best if at all possible, i.e. ‘yes’ or ‘no’. There may be some hard questions that seem unrelated, again, answer them as succinctly as you can.

Short answers. Do not give them anything that they can use against you. If the question does not pertain to the problems, do not answer. Do not explain anything; if they ream you, ask for an attorney.

Michael is correct. Having been in a few depositions in my first career, it is best not to read into the question, answer question as short as possible, and remember they will ask the same question a number of times in different forms. Always and I mean always answer the question truthfully. You never have to remember how you answered a question truthfully. This is more of a fact finding mission for your client.

Best of luck!

In Missouri you can get paid to give depositions.

I have been in several depositions, divorce (not mine), criminal (not mine) and several civil (mine) - listen to the question, think about the question, then answer only the question, DON’T add anything - if they ask a question like "so when did you stop beating your wife?’, don’t answer, ask for clarification, as many times as you want, until the question has only a single subject, and you do have the right not to answer a question. If they threaten you with going to the judge, tell them to go ahead, but don’t answer a question until you are comfortable - you are dealing with an attorney and they are experts at twisting the truth.