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CoCounsel Core: Prepare for a Deposition
CoCounsel Core: Prepare for a Deposition

Learn how to draft deposition questions with CoCounsel Core

Ryan Groff avatar
Written by Ryan Groff
Updated over a week ago

The Prepare for a Deposition skill allows lawyers to quickly draft questions for a deposition. In this situation, CoCounsel Core reads the description of the deposition in your request and drafts relevant topics and questions.

A. How the AI works


Describe the deposition and CoCounsel will draft relevant topics and questions.

1. Request deposition questions

Request that CoCounsel draft deposition questions by describing the upcoming deposition, then press Enter on your keyboard or select the send button in the chat.

2. Confirm the draft

CoCounsel interprets your request and the gray, pill-shaped label confirms the use of the Prepare for a Deposition skill. Edit the text of the request, cancel the request, or select "Submit request."

3. CoCounsel begins drafting

CoCounsel shows its progress and confirms the description being used to draft deposition questions. Select "Email me when complete" to be notified when your results are ready. You may also cancel your request, or select "View results" to watch CoCounsel work.

4. Navigate and verify the results.

When the results are ready, click "View results."

Review your original request. Collapse and expand topic headings to review drafted questions.

5. Use the results

Download or copy the results.

B. Tips and samples


1. Tips

Overall

CoCounsel understands nuance, humor, and implied references. This means CoCounsel finds information and references that traditional search engines cannot. The best requests are specific, clear, precise, and concise.

Be specific and clear

  • Use narrow, specific questions.

  • It is better to ask multiple, narrow questions rather than a single, broad question.

Broad: What was the Planned Parenthood case about?

Better: What were the elements of the court’s reasoning in Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992)?

CoCounsel may try to “help” by omitting additional information to focus on one part of a longer, complex, overbroad question.

Be precise and concise

  • Avoid using vague or ambiguous language, like passive voice.

  • Spell out legal terms a law student might not know.

  • Grammatical and spelling errors in a question can be misinterpreted.

Passive voice: Where the defense was sided with by the court.

Active voice: Where the court sided with the defense.

Wordy: Cases where there was a minor who was the plaintiff, and who was also under the age of 14 at the time of the alleged events that the court was considering.

Better: Cases with a minor plaintiff under the age of 14.

Skill-specific

Describe the circumstances regarding the upcoming deposition just like you would to a colleague. Use natural language when describing your deposition and avoid complicated syntax or Boolean codes and strict filtering. 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)

  • Provide legal source material (e.g. Rule 30(b)(6) representatives must testify about information known or reasonably available to the organization)

  • 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.

2. Samples

Use these samples as a starting point for your work with CoCounsel.

Requests

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.

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.

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.

Refinements

After reviewing CoCounsel’s response, continue chatting with CoCounsel to refine the results.

This is good, but let's keep going. Please continue drafting 5 more topics with 5 more questions right here in the chat.

I would like to include the above-drafted topics and questions in a formal memo to my client, Betty. Betty wanted an update on our deposition preparations. I'll email the memo when it's ready.

Thanks, but how would someone who is asked the above-drafted questions during a deposition try to evade answering each of these questions?

[CoCounsel responds]

Excellent, and how might I follow-up to address these attempted evasions?

[CoCounsel responds]

Perfect, but I'd like a cheat-sheet to take with me into the deposition. Could you make a table here in the chat: column 1 is the proposed question, column 2 will have 1-2 attempted evasions, and column 3 will have 1-2 follow-up questions addressing the attempted evasion.

Example

C. Limitations


Input limits

1,000 characters

Output limits

5 topics

5 questions per topic

Your results might refer to laws, but CoCounsel does not yet consult legal sources while drafting. Ensure quotations, references, or paraphrases of legal authorities are accurate and up-to-date.

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