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"A Little Levity Please!" Series

Editor’s Note: Let’s face it – the practice of law can sometimes be a little stressful.  Even if you’re the type who thrives on stress, it can still be good to crack a smile every now and again.  In this “A Little Levity Please!” series, WLALA will feature stories designed to bring a little humor to your day.  Submissions welcome from all members!

By Heather Stern

Many years ago, as a young associate, I was assigned the task of reading the transcript of a deposition that had been taken in a case that was marginally related to a different case that my firm was handling.  The deponent was not my client and both the lawyer taking the deposition and the lawyer defending it were strangers to me.  But I will never forget this particular transcript. 

After the witness was sworn in, the lawyer taking the deposition apparently took out an audio recorder, hit “record” and proceeded to take an audio recording of the deposition.  There followed page after page of attorney speeches while the lawyer defending the deposition “strenuously objected,” refused to “consent” to being recorded, threatened sanctions and civil remedies, and in general, threw an apoplectic fit, and the lawyer taking the deposition just as strenuously argued his position.  In the end, the lawyer taking the deposition put away the recorder. 

The deposition then proceeded in the fashion that you are probably imagining would follow such an exchange.  Questions were punctuated by repeated objections.  Repeated objections were followed by attorney speeches ostensibly to meet and confer but which instead only seemed to escalate and heighten counsel’s clear disagreement and growing personal dislike of one another.

The questioning eventually culminated in a key question clearly designed to evoke an important concession. 

The witness began his answer.  The answer abruptly stopped.

The attorney taking the deposition then cried out, “I’d like to note for the record that Mr. So and So [the attorney defending the deposition] just kicked the witness under the table!” 

To which the attorney defending the deposition responded smartly:  “No I did not.  But even if I did, it would be privileged!”

After so many pages of rancor and hostility, I could not help but laugh out loud when I read this exchange.  The humor of that statement was undoubtedly lost on both lawyers at the time, but I’m sure the irony of having put away the recorder was not lost on the lawyer taking the deposition.  And that’s why you order a videographer!

Heather Stern is WLALA’s Communications Officer and Partner at Kralik & Jacobs LLP.


*If you would like to contribute to this series, please contact the WLALA Communications Officer, Heather Stern at