PARTY OF THE FIRST PART, TO WIT. WHAT?!

True sentence in a lengthy deposition.  The kind of sentence this interpreter has to desconstruct in order to rebuild and then it still is so complex that the deponent (person being deposed) dares not make any answer, but simply asks for the question to be restated.  At which point the whole damn house of cards is rebuilt again by the same lawyer.  Because he has studied the case, and he knows exactly which tiny sliver of information he is trying to elicit, even if no one else does.

For those who are not in the field, a deposition is a chance for attorneys to question witnesses under oath and record their answers.  It gets transcribed and if the case goes to trial the attorney can use it against the witness to make them look like they are lying or contradicting themselves on the stand.  It is a great way for a lawyer to see how a witness will appear before a jury, and decide whether to take a case to trial.  For the person being deposed, it is a less than pleasant experience.  The questions are rarely straightforward and often a waste of time.  Here is one:

“Did you at any time, in talking with your coworkers, before leaving the office, by which I mean your headquarters, have any conversation, in which someone indicated, or verbalized, within your hearing, whether in speaking to you directly, or something that you simply overhead, that any workers (that is to say any of the union workers, referring to the union of which you are a member, or more specifically were a member of at the time in question) had been turned away from the same job, referring to the job for which you were sent to the on-site office in order to be interviewed, although I understand that you are positing that you were not in fact sent out on the job, or rather that you thought you were being sent out on the job but were subsequently turned away and denied the work?”

I was going to write an in-depth explanatory article about this issue but seriously that last question has made me too damned tired to elaborate on it any further. I rest my case on the above paragraph.

Party of the first part, to wit, this author, would like to apologize to the party of the second part, to wit, the reader, and most particularly to any party of the third part, i.e attorney, if this article seems, or appears, or gives the feeling of, or indicates, suggests, hints or portrays, that not all lawyers are great communicators.  Not all lawyers can get to the point.  Not all lawyers can say things in such a way that anyone can even begin to guess at what the hell they are trying to communicate.

If any member of the bar takes offense at this, the party of the first part suggests that if the shoe fits the party of the third part, said party should wear it.  To those for whom the shoe does not fit, said parties are invited not to take it personally.  And to those attorneys who are clear, concise, caring and wonderful communicators, bless your hearts.  You make our job a delight.