In employment discrimination litigation, it often falls to various supervisors, manager and human resources employees to represent the company and, if necessary, testify at a deposition or trial.

In nearly all cases, those managers and supervisors will be prepped by a company attorney before their testimony.  Manpower Employment Blog shares a few of the tried and true instructions that are often relayed to supervisors before testifying at a deposition.

Among the highlights:

  • Be honest.
  • Listen to all questions carefully.
  • Keep answers as brief as possible.
  • Don’t guess or speculate.
  • “Yes,” “no” and “I don’t recall” are perfectly acceptable answers. 

None of this is terribly groundbreaking, but it is vitally important. All the strategy in the world won’t mean a thing if your employees present terribly at a deposition or trial. Case settlement values may be affected or, quite simply, you can lose the case based on the witnesses.

There are lots of resources out there, including this outline or this article, on preparing to testify and preparing witnesses to testify

Have your employees prepare for the deposition much like they would for an important business meeting.  The attorneys who are handling the case are likely to be prepared — there are lots of articles about the top ten "killer deposition questions" –, so  your employees should be too.