Wednesday, November 9, 2011

How do you spell relief?

Day-long deposition today. Expert witness deponent, hired consultant. Large, crowded conference room, lots of attorneys, lots of other hired consultants for the other parties.

Half-way through the day my associate leans in to me and whispers, "have you ever been in a deposition before where the witness put their bottle of tums on the table like that?" It took me a second to understand what she said. I looked over at the witness, who was down on the far side of the conference table from me, and noticed for the first time the half-empty bottle of tums sitting at his elbow. And I proceeded to lose my shit.

I don't know if it was actually as funny as it seemed at the time, but in that moment, it turned my giggle box over on its ass. I have never struggled so hard and for so long to keep my laughter silent and smothered behind my hands in a setting like that. Tears started streaming down my face, I couldn't get my laughter under control.

And my answer to her question, once I was able to speak (or rather whisper) again, was no. It doesn't surprise me that a witness would bring antacids with them to a deposition. But that is in fact the first time I have ever seen one plant the antacid bottle within reach on the table right next to all the exhibit notebooks containing all the thousands of pages of documents, and pop tablets so conspicuously as he gets grilled by attorneys. Not that I blame him. But it was seriously funny.

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