NOTE: Course offerings change. Classes offered this semester may not be offered in future semesters.

246.3 sec. 1 - Depositions (Spring 2014)

Instructor: Henry L. Hecht  (view instructor's teaching evaluations | profile)
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Units: 3
Meeting Time: Tu 3:35-6:15
Meeting Location: 115

Course Start: January 07, 2014
Class Number (formerly Course Control Number) (Non-1Ls): 49715

Law 246.3, Depositions, including Intensive Workshops on Three Saturdays (3 units)

Over 98% of all civil cases filed in Federal court are resolved short of trial. When a litigator questions a witness today, it is far more likely to be in a law office at a deposition than in a courtroom at trial.

This skills course primarily uses "learning by doing" (simulations) to teach the art and science of taking and defending depositions. The role plays will be conducted in small groups with experienced litigators and the instructor as observers who will provide individual feedback to each student. In addition, the deposition role plays will be video recorded, and each student will have an individual video review session with the instructor. Undergraduates will play the role of the witnesses. Finally, court reporters will transcribe the testimony.

NOTE: To maximize the time for practice, the course will meet for eight weekly three-hour classes, starting on Tuesday, January 7, 2014 (the first class of the semester), interspersed with three Saturday workshops from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., on February 8, March 1, and March 22, 2014 (the last class of the semester). Attendance and participation at all scheduled classes is mandatory. (For the complete schedule of classes, see the Syllabus posted as a pdf file below.)

Skills addressed include: preparing the fact (lay) witness, gathering information (discovery), gaining admissions, seeking evidence for impeachment, handling documents, defending your witness, dealing with both obstreperous counsel and problem witnesses, and using depositions at trial.

Enrollment is limited to 18 students. All interested students - whether or not enrolled or on the wait list - must attend the first class in order to be admitted. Any student who does not attend the first class may be dropped by the instructor.

Due to the use of simulation exercises throughout the semester and the need to determine the members of the class as soon as possible, the usual provisions of "Drop/Add" do not apply. If you wish to enroll, you must commit to remain in the course by no later than Friday afternoon, January 10, 2014, the last day of the first full week of spring semester classes.

If you have any questions, please contact Professor Henry Hecht, by e-mail ( or telephone (510-642-1787).

US Civil Procedure at a US Law School. Although not required, completion of Evidence or concurrent enrollment is recommended.

This course satisfies the Experiential Requirement.

Exam Notes: P
Course Category: Simulation Courses
This course is cross-listed in the following categories:
Litigation and Procedure

The following files are available for this course:

First Assignment

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Required Books are in blue

  • Effective Depositions, Second Edition
    Henry L. Hecht,
    ISBN: 9781604429060
    Copyright Date: To Be Determined
    Price: $89.99
    Note: prices are sampled from internet bookstores. Folletts prices are unavailable at this time.

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