AZA’s John Zavitsanos Provides Deposition Advice in National Publication May 1, 2014
HOUSTON – Noted litigator John Zavitsanos, co-founder of Houston law firm Ahmad Zavitsanos Anaipakos Alavi & Mensing PC, or AZA, says attorneys are mistaken when they urge a corporate client to hedge everything during the deposition process and never admit a single mistake.
Mr. Zavitsanos, who has written and presented guidance on deposition-taking for years, is quoted in an April 29 national news story about how to conduct this crucial piece of discovery the smart way in the Law360 article, “5 Tips For A Disaster-Free Deposition,” (subscription required).
“You tend to get these very zealous lawyers who don’t want to give an inch in a deposition, and they counsel their people to say that we’re not going to give up any critical facts,” Mr. Zavitsanos tells the online publication’s readers. “What we find is that when we are deposing someone and we ask some very common-sense questions and they say ‘I don’t know’ — when cases like that go to trial, juries absolutely hate it.”
Recognized as a leader in Texas General Commercial Litigation in the upcoming 2014 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business and a regular honoree in The Best Lawyers in America, Mr. Zavitsanos and fellow AZA attorneys authored the informative brochure, “The Executive Guide to Depositions.”
Mr. Zavitsanos warns that some people who are deposed are coached never to admit their employer may have acted improperly, which essentially portrays the company as perfect and creates unnecessary opportunities for the opposition.
“If the other side nicks you and draws just a tiny little bit of blood, your entire defense comes crashing down because you have set the bar so high for yourself,” Mr. Zavitsanos says. Generally, he says, there are “two sides to a story, and that’s the way most juries think.”
AZA, or Ahmad, Zavitsanos & Mensing, is a Houston-based law firm that is home to true courtroom lawyers with a formidable track record in complex commercial litigation, including energy, intellectual property, securities fraud, construction and business dispute cases. AZA is recognized by Chambers USA 2014 as among the best in Texas commercial law and by U.S. News & World Report and The Best Lawyers in America as one of the country’s best commercial litigation firms in the 2014 listing of the nation’s leading law firms. National corporate counsel named AZA one of the country’s best in client service among law firms serving the Fortune 1000.