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 program 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.
Download PDF of the course brochure here
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 from 12:00pm to 12:45pm on Friday, October 18. The program will start promptly at 1:00pm on that date and will conclude at 4:00pm on Sunday, October 20. The programs location is: Participants are responsible for making their own hotel arrangements. There are no negotiated room rates for this program, the following hotels are recommended based on their proximity to the program.Hotel Shattuck Plaza
UC Berkeley School of Law
Berkeley, CA 94720
2086 Allston Way
Berkeley, CA 94704
1.0 Mile From UC Berkeley School of Law
Participants are responsible for making their own hotel arrangements. There are no negotiated room rates for this program, the following hotels are recommended based on their proximity to the program.Hotel Shattuck Plaza
The Oakland International Airport is approximately a 25-minute ride to the program location. Taxi fare costs approximately $55.00. The Super Shuttle costs approximately $29.00 from the airport to the program location. The San Francisco Airport is approximately a 45-minute ride to the program location. Taxi fare costs approximately $78.00. The Super Shuttle costs approximately $35.00 from the airport to the program location.
Helpful information on campus parking locations and rates may be found at pt.berkeley.edu. There is a public lot on Bowditch between Bancroft and Durant (less than 5-minute walk from Law School) that offers Early Bird rate of $9 (enter before 9 am). The closest public lot is next to the Bancroft Hotel, on Bancroft between College and Bowditch, but it fills up fast.
Coffee and snacks will be provided throughout the program. Attendees will be on their own for lunches and dinners. There are restaurants within walking distance.
Attendees are encouraged to wear "courtroom attire" during the program. Not only might a lawyer's appearance have an effect on the trier of fact, and is thus a matter of concern for the serious advocate, but it has been our experience that attendees dressed more formally than the usual CLEattire find themselves more easily “getting into character” and presenting a more polished performance. Dressing for court also provides each attendee with more realistic feedback when watching the recorded performances each day. On occasion, there may be a casual day during the program that will be announced on-site.
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.
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.
Program materials will be shipped approximately four weeks prior to program's start date from our fulfillment company Wolters Kluwer. For delivery or return questions related to NITA Program materials, please contact Wolters Kluwer at email@example.com or call (800) 234-1660.
If you sign up 2 weeks prior to the course you will receive the case file by e-mail and the textbook will be shipped UPS Ground to your address. If any part of the textbook is necessary to your program preparation you will receive an electronic version of those sections as well.
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’m going to be a better attorney for having taken this seminar. It was a great worthwhile and rewarding experience."Ronnie White II, 2019 NITA Attendee
"It was extremely helpful; I feel more confident prepping for/taking/defending depositions; the student-teacher ratio was impressive."Tali Katz, 2019 NITA Attendee
"Very helpful - I went in never having done a depo, and now I feel prepared and eager to do my first!"Sarah Chaplin, 2019 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 a helpful CLE, and I walked away feeling more confident about basic deposition strategy. I believe that I gained a better understanding of my own strengths and weaknesses."Jessica Burrus, 2019 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