"Construction Executives: Talk Less and Listen More for an Effective Deposition," Construction Executive Risk Management

October 11, 2016

Construction Executives: Talk Less and Listen More for an Effective Deposition

Business executives can be their lawyer’s worst nightmare in depositions. But how can this be? They are smart and well-educated, thoroughly acquainted with the dynamics of their business, comfortable with public speaking and routinely take tough questions from boards and investors.

This is particularly true of construction executives, who must have the agility and toughness to balance the demands of aggressive construction schedules, financing, safety regulators, workplace issues, suppliers and subcontractors, and all the myriad pieces that must come together once shovels are placed in the ground. Who better to stand up to an opposing attorney?

The problem is that all the command-and-control qualities that make a great construction executive can work against giving effective deposition testimony. If lawyers could sum up all their advice for executives in depositions, it would come down to one word: listen. Listening is the opposite of telling. Executives are very good at telling people what they need to hear. This may work well in running a company, but it often backfires in a deposition.

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