News & Events > News > Dan Skerritt Advocates for Limits on Depositions in Litigation Journal Article
Dan Skerritt Advocates for Limits on Depositions in Litigation Journal Article
Tonkon Torp litigator Dan Skerritt has an article published in the Winter 2019 issue of the American Bar Association's Litigation Journal. In the article, "Why Not Trials Instead of Depositions?," Dan argues that limiting the use of depositions is essential in keeping our civil jury trial system alive and well.
The mindset of most litigators is that they need to take depositions. Years ago Professor Irving Younger crafted the Ten Commandments of Cross-Examination, which teaches aspiring lawyers to never ask a question at trial unless they already know what the answer will be. Depositions are how lawyers learn those answers before trial.
In Dan's view, this mindset is destroying trial practice. Even cases of limited economic exposure are managed under discovery budgets that approximate the value of the case. As a result, litigation practice now follows the model of taking depositions of every available witness, blowing through the budget, then settling the case without a trial. Dan's alternative is to skip the depositions and go to trial.
To read Dan's full analysis of the issue, click the pdf below.
Dan is a partner in Tonkon Torp's Litigation Department. He is a past chair of the Oregon chapter of the American College of Trial lawyers and a long-time champion of expanding opportunities for younger lawyers to try cases.