Can you walk into a deposition convinced you’ll get the information you need and secure the admissions you want from the opposition? Or if it’s your witness being deposed, do you know how to prepare them for the experience and protect them from walking into traps?
These are some of the abilities you’ll hone when you take a Deposition Skills course from NITA. For over forty years, we’ve offered advocacy training taught by a veritable “who’s who” of advocacy experts—trial lawyers, judges, and law professors—from across the country, volunteers who donate their time and dedicate it to your professional development.
There’s no better place for you to practice what we preach than in a NITA classroom. Our brief lectures and demonstrations will give you a solid base of knowledge and familiarity with deposition practice. Learn to:
• use the Funnel Technique to exhaust a witness’s subject knowledge • identify other potential sources of information • close off avenues of escape • work with documents and exhibits to gather information, refresh memory, and impeach • test your potential theories—legal, factual, or persuasive • deal with opposing counsel’s objections • manage difficult witnesses, counsel, and clients • become “comfortable with being uncomfortable” in the unpredictability of a deposition
• use the Funnel Technique to exhaust a witness’s subject knowledge
• identify other potential sources of information
• close off avenues of escape
• work with documents and exhibits to gather information, refresh memory, and impeach
• test your potential theories—legal, factual, or persuasive
• deal with opposing counsel’s objections
• manage difficult witnesses, counsel, and clients
• become “comfortable with being uncomfortable” in the unpredictability of a deposition
And for those times when you’re on the opposite side of the table—defending a deposition—you’ll discover how to prepare your witness both substantively and emotionally for the experience while sharpening your instincts.
Then it’s time to take the stage, performing each of these elements in a series of simulated depositions and witness preparation exercises. You’ll get personalized coaching to help you immediately improve your skills. But unlike in an actual deposition where the outcome is real, with NITA you get to make instant course corrections and practice them again—with only your old habits at stake. NITA’s “learning-by-doing” method, when practiced in the safe harbor of the classroom, allows you to take calculated risks and perform under pressure, without ever jeopardizing your client’s case or your own reputation.
After three days with NITA, you’ll return to your office empowered to make immediate use of everything you’ve learned—skills that will serve you well until the day you retire from practice.
Whether you are a seasoned trial attorney, brand new to your practice, or anywhere in between - attending a NITA deposition skills course will give you the skills you need to be a better advocate for your clients. Our world-class faculty will work with you at an individual level, giving you the tools you need to succeed and helping you develop a style and presence that is unique to you.
Scholarships are available for this program through the NITA foundation. Additional information on how to apply for a scholarship, can be found here.
– Course Materials
– One on one personalized feedback from our expert faculty
– Experienced actors for role-playing witness parts
*Qualifies as one credit toward the NITA Advocate Designation
"This program is incredible. I think all young attorneys would benefit from attending and learning from veteran litigators. Feedback is provided immediately and is tailored to your personal performance, habits, and strategies. It doesn’t get any better than NITA." - Michael Sutton, Conner & Winters LLP
"Overall, an excellent course. You are thrown right in, which while stress-inducing, is really the only way to structure the course... having the opportunity to learn in this type of environment is invaluable." - Matthew Murphy, Richards Layton & Finger PA
"My firm suggested this would be helpful and would assist me in my practice as I am now taking and defending depositions regularly. I feel much more prepared now." - Risa Chalfin, Wilentz Goldman & Spitzer
You may check in for the program starting at 7:30am on Wednesday, February 19. The program will start promptly at 8:30am on that date and will conclude Friday, February 21, at 4:15pm The program will be held at the following location.
Catamaran Resort Hotel & Spa
3999 Mission Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92109
Participants are responsible for making their own hotel arrangements. Please contact the hotels directly for reservations and additional information.
Catamaran Resort Hotel & Spa
3999 Mission Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92109
400 West Broadway
San Diego, CA 92101
Negotiated Room Rate: $189 plus tax
Reservation Cut-off date: January 20, 2020
Please state that you are part of the NITA room block.
Or use this link to book your reservation under the block:
Book your group rate for NITA National Institute for Trial Advocacy Bahia Resort Hotel The San Diego International Airport is approximately 10 minutes from the hotel. Guest parking at the hotel is $25.00 per day for self-parking and $29.00 per day for valet parking. Overnight guests at the hotel will have unlimited in/out privileges. Parking for local attendees is $10.00 for the first hour, $2.00 each additional hour, up to a max of $35.00 for the day. Meals are the responsibility of the participants. Coffee and water are provided during the program. Appropriate business attire is required for the program's duration. Most of the sessions are conducted in a simulated deposition setting. We recommend that you dress for business throughout the program.
998 W Mission Bay Dr
San Diego, CA 92109
The San Diego International Airport is approximately 10 minutes from the hotel.
Guest parking at the hotel is $25.00 per day for self-parking and $29.00 per day for valet parking. Overnight guests at the hotel will have unlimited in/out privileges. Parking for local attendees is $10.00 for the first hour, $2.00 each additional hour, up to a max of $35.00 for the day.
Meals are the responsibility of the participants. Coffee and water are provided during the program.
Appropriate business attire is required for the program's duration. Most of the sessions are conducted in a simulated deposition setting. We recommend that you dress for business throughout the program.
All states have different MCLE requirements. Please make sure that the state(s) you require credit for were either noted in your registration or communicated to the Program Specialist prior to the start of the program. NITA will not apply to states for course approval after the start of the program. Please note that if you do not complete the program in its entirety, some states do not award partial credit.
For an estimate of credit hours by program type, please see below.States Based on a 50 Minute Credit Hour:
States Based on a 60 Minute Credit Hour:
Trial Program: 30-63 Credits
Deposition Program: 13-21 Credits
Specialty Program: 7-20 Credits
If you need to know the exact number of credits for a specific program please contact your Program Specialist.
Program materials will be shipped approximately four weeks prior to program's start date from our fulfillment company Wolters Kluwer. The materials packaging will be from Wolters Kluwer not NITA so please watch out for this shipment.
If you sign up 2 weeks prior to the course you will receive the case file electronically and the textbook will be shipped UPS Ground to the address on your application.
Pre-program preparation requires that you become familiar with the FACTS associated with the case file and/or problems. In order to get the maximum benefit from the program, it is imperative that you prepare as much as possible in advance, as time for preparation during the program is extremely limited. Please refer to the program schedule for assignment details to prepare for your performances in each workshop.
Be recognized for your NITA training! Achieving a NITA Designation allows you to demonstrate your expertise to clients and colleagues. Upon completion of your required coursework, NITA will send you a letter, certificate and an e-mail with a special graphic logo attached. Use these documents to demonstrate your advocacy knowledge through your website, advertising, etc. The NITA Designation logo will also be added to your Martindale-Hubble profile.
The required courses for the NITA Advocate Designation include one building trial skills course, one deposition skills course and one specialty course. The courses can be purchased individually but we also offer discounted package pricing.
(Total price if programs are purchased individually: $7135)
"Going into the program, I knew little to nothing about depositions. After the program, I learned so much and was excited about having a new skill set. Although the weekend was quite intense, it was well worth it."Nicole Mozee, 2018 NITA Attendee
"I really enjoyed it and thought it was very beneficial. It challenged me to explore techniques outside my comfort zone. Both the instructors and the participants were top notch."Aaron Williams, 2018 NITA Attendee
"I thought this training was extremely valuable. The faculty were attentive, insightful, and endlessly supportive. Through the lectures and the workshops I learned and tested the techniques and very quickly found myself comfortable and confident. I'm looking forward to trying these techniques in my next deposition!"Emily Ratner, 2018 NITA Attendee
"This was my first NITA course and I thought it was excellent. The faculty and actors were all great to talk to and work with. I learned a lot, and thought every part of the course was helpful and effective."Bill Whitner, 2019 NITA Attendee
"I am very impressed at how effective the course is in such a limited period. It has changed the way I approach depositions for the better."Elise McQuain, 2019 NITA Attendee
"This course was extremely helpful and well-done. I feel much more confident about taking depositions now."Allyson Gault, 2019 NITA Attendee
"This was a very interactive, engaging, and valuable course. I would highly recommend it to other attorneys regardless of experience level."Pooja Pathak, 2019 NITA Attendee
"I felt this was a valuable training and, while I have taken many depositions in the past, believe that I developed some new tools for my practice. I would recommend that any young associate take the course."Anthony LaPlaca, 2018 NITA Attendee
"The course dramatically improved my skills and increased my confidence for taking depositions."Natalia Cabrera, 2018 NITA Attendee
"In my opinion the course was beneficial to my practice and the areas in my repertoire of skills that needed improvement. The faculty was approachable, and engaged, and unselfish with their critiques."Andrew Harris, 2018 NITA Attendee
"Exceeded expectations! Great faculty! I love the fact that it took me way out of my comfort zone! I think I’m pretty excited about my first depo now!"Lena Nguyen, 2019 NITA Attendee
"The course was highly informative and professionally presented!! I would and will recommend it to anyone!"Cheryl Ellsworth Jahani, 2019 NITA Attendee
"This was a really good course for both beginning deposition takers and honing skills for more seasoned litigators."Stacy Plotkin-Wolff, 2018 NITA Attendee
"Excellent! All new attorneys and anyone wanting to improve their deposition skills should take this course."Ryan Carlin, 2018 NITA Attendee
"This was just what I was looking for. An overview on approach, guidance to help me execute that approach, and practice."Jessica Currie, 2018 NITA Attendee