Archive for April, 2014

Why I Sometimes Don’t Love My Job

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

I’m one day down, two days to go in examinations for discovery on a file right now.  Examinations for discovery in Canada are known as depositions in American lawsuits, but they’re basically the same.

My wife thought it would be interesting for me to watch a video on the New York Times’ web site as she thought it was hilarious.  The problem, for me, is that it wasn’t so much hilarious as it brought to mind some of my most annoying times in conducting examinations for discovery.  As you will see, there is a court reporter / stenographer / official examiner in the room but otherwise it’s just the parties.  Most importantly, there’s no judge.  The result is that you often get a party who decides to be “cute” and waste time since there is nobody to control the process – and so we get pages and pages of transcripts on what is otherwise a simple and, otherwise, non-problematic question that does nothing other than drag out the process.  In this instance, the deponent is portrayed to look like a deer in the headlights.  In commercial cases, it’s often the opposite.  I had an examination several months ago where the deponent thought he was smarter than everyone in the room – including his own lawyer – and we got into passages along the lines of what you see in the video, but he wasn’t a deer in the headlights, he was a smug, know-it-all who was clearly playing games.  As the reporter put it at the end of the day, I got a lovely transcript full of non-responses to my questions mixed with speeches about how the Canadian justice system would never allow a result that did not give the deponent judgment for everything he was seeking in the lawsuit.

Thankfully, examinations for discovery like this are the exception rather than the rule – and the examinations I’m doing right now are far from this exceptional example.  But once every year or two I will have an examination for discovery that has flashes like this video and those are the days I need a good stiff drink at the end of the day and wonder whether I made the right career choice. Thankfully, the feeling passes quickly –  of course, that could just be the booze kicking in ;-)

You can find the video here.