I took my first deposition Tuesday. I have been to numerous depositions and sat in on depositions before but I have never asked any questions of the witnesses, let alone take an entire deposition myself. Needless to say, I was a huge bag of nerves.
But I prepared the best I could and even looked up some tips. I found this article helped me a lot and I identified with a lot of what the author discusses, such as “owning the deposition.”
Still, I was very nervous, the type of nervous you get when you can’t even sleep the night before. But I powered through my first deposition and felt pretty good about it. I had several depositions to take yesterday, but surviving the first one was a big step in my mind. Going into the next few I was able to relax a little bit but my heart was still pounding. I was fortunate to have great opposing counsel but I was still hyper-aware of everything, including the breaths and note-taking of the other attorney.
I don’t know if my anxiety helped or hurt. I’ve heard the stories about how nervousness is a good thing and that even very experienced professionals get nervous and that nervousness often equates with caring and doing a good job. I agree with this to an extent, but to be honest I really hope that some of my nervousness goes away as I become more experienced. After today I can’t imagine how anxious I will feel before my first trial.
To the more experienced Generation JDers: do you still get nervous at depositions and in court? Do you think it helps or hurts your performance? Is there a “right” amount of nervousness?