How can I use CoCounsel to prepare for a deposition?

Instructions for using CoCounsel's "Prepare for a Deposition" skill, with samples illustrating best practices for prompting.

Elaine Cheek avatar
Written by Elaine Cheek
Updated over a week ago

In this article

Summary and video

You can use this skill to get an initial outline of topics and questions that you can ask a witness in a deposition. Just enter a sentence or two describing an upcoming deposition, and CoCounsel will recommend topics and questions that you can include in your deposition outline.

Step-by-step instructions

(1) Launch “Prepare for a Deposition”

To get started, go to CoCounsel, open the skills menu, and select “Prepare for a Deposition."

Once you’re selected this skill, the following dialog box will appear:

(2) Describe your upcoming deposition

The dialog box asks users to describe the circumstances regarding their upcoming deposition, just as they would explain the deposition to a colleague. You can use natural language when describing your deposition; you do not need to worry about Boolean operators or a particular format or syntax for your query.

For best results, we recommend including the following information when describing your deposition to CoCounsel:

  • Specify the type of deposition (e.g., expert, fact witness, Rule 30(b)(6) representative, or Person Most Knowledgeable)

  • Briefly describe the type of case and claims at issue (example: “This is an antitrust case involving price-fixing claims in the market for legal research software”).

  • Note whether the witness is adverse or any other relationship to the witness (example: “This is the lead witness for the opposing party,” or “This is a third-party witness”).

  • Note anything else you would like CoCounsel to consider when generating deposition questions (example: “This witness is known to be untruthful,” or “This witness may have spoliated evidence”).

  • Be concise: We recommend that you include these specific points in your query, but your query does not need to be more than a sentence or two. Our AI does best with concise, specific language.

After you finish describing your deposition circumstances, click “Generate topics."

(3) Refine your topics

Based on your description, CoCounsel will suggest a list of topics. This is a working space where you have many options.

  • Place your cursor in any suggested topic to refine the wording

  • Add your own topics with "Insert your own topics"

  • Remove topics by clicking trash

You may also ask CoCounsel to suggest more topics by clicking "Generate more topics." When you have finished reviewing and approving CoCounsel's suggested topics, click "Generate Questions."

(4) Review your results

Begin reviewing CoCounsel’s response from the chat, or open the full response.

From the chat

From the chat, mouse over the response to expand the full response, download the response, or copy the response to paste somewhere else.

The full response

Verify CoCounsel's response. Review your original request. Collapse and expand topic headings to read each of CoCounsel's suggested questions.


Input limits

1,000 characters

Output limits

5 initial topics, you may type your own and ask CoCounsel generate more

5 questions per topic

Sample prompts to illustrate best practices for prompting:

Provide details related to the claims at issue

We are representing the defendant employer and deposing the adverse plaintiff who is a former employee who is alleging she was a subject of sexual harassment by a supervisor. Alleged harassment includes inappropriate comments, sharing inappropriate photos and videos over social media with Plaintiff. Plaintiff alleges that her supervisor requested that she go to dinner with him after work and when she arrived, he was wearing inappropriate attire and was flirting with her with physical touch. Plaintiff is known to be untruthful and we believe she is lying about the allegations.

Provide details on the witness’ role in the case:

I am deposing the principal of a grammar school to find out about her knowledge and training regarding the handling of bullying among students. The witness was aware of bullying activity and failed to protect the victim student who was subsequently physically injured by the bully. I represent the victim of the bullying.

Provide details about the objective of the deposition

I represent the defendant in a criminal case in a hearing on a motion to suppress a statement to police. My client was in the hospital and on morphine for pain when the police questioned him. I am trying to suppress the statement on the grounds that my client could not have understood the miranda waiver while in the hospital on morphine. I am questioning the officer who took the statement to elicit information useful in a motion to suppress.

Did this answer your question?