Week 2: Deposition Workshop and Tons of Assignments
Week 2: Deposition Workshop and Tons of Assignments
Elizabeth Pearce, Florida State University, Tallahassee Office
This week went by in what felt like a blink of an eye! I really started to get into the groove of things and was given a variety of assignments. I particularly enjoyed working on education and employment law projects. This week, I get to draft my first answer in a pro se prisoner case, which I’m excited about.
My mentor, Kayla Platt-Rady, and I got to spend more time together and I’ve really enjoyed getting to know her. She has given me great advice and has assigned me some really interesting projects. Even though I’m very new at everything here, Kayla always makes me feel confident in my abilities to complete my assignments. Additionally, she helped me prepare for the mock deposition. I was initially really nervous, but after working with Kayla and having her review my outline, I felt confident going into the deposition. After it was over, Kayla and I debriefed my performance and she gave me some very helpful feedback. Overall, I was so proud of myself and felt I did well considering it was my first ever deposition.
Adam Poe, Stetson University, Tampa Office
During week two work was in full swing. I spent the week delving deep into my assignments and learning all new areas of law. I have a wide variety of assignments on my plate ranging from research memorandums to case briefs. My favorite assignment so far has been helping to prepare a motion for summary judgment. This is a practical skill I have never attempted before, and the learning process was a fun journey.
Having all my assignments looming overhead can at times feel overwhelming, but I view it as a test of my work ethic and time management skills, which I am confident. Plus, everyone in the office is extremely helpful, so I know I can reach out to anyone whenever I need to.
Andres Chinchilla, University of Miami, Miami Office
We kicked off our week with a highly informative seminar on depositions hosted by partner Darryl Gavin. We learned about every aspect of preparing, conducting, and defending a deposition. Darryl, relying on his years of experience, taught us the ins and outs of depositions. We received specific advice like “ask short and punch questions,” as well as advice on general strategy regarding outlines and objectives. Shortly after our seminar, we were given materials to prepare our own deposition. Just a couple of days later, I was performing my own 20-minute deposition on a party witness involving a breach of contract for a first party insurance dispute. Admittedly, my deposition did not go exactly as planned. Partner Sally Culley did an excellent job in her role as witness, and forced me to work for my points. Even so, using the tools from our seminar, and some tips I picked up from the Miami Law Litigation Skills Program, I got through the deposition with much of the information I had hoped for. And although there is room for improvement, I look forward to honing my skills through RK’s SA program!
Harris Blum, University of Miami, Miami Office
While I was bummed to learn that the appeal I was working on for partner Steve Smith would be put on hold for the appellant to refile the record, it was not long before partner Josh Lerner approached me about a fascinating case that, at the time, was set for trial on Monday, June 14. The plaintiff sued our client, requesting that the court eject our client from the property it inhabited for more than a decade. The stakes were high, and Josh entrusted me with an array of research assignments, even asked me to draft emergency motions for stay pending appeal if our client lost at trial. But, the best part was attending the charge hearing with Josh on Wednesday afternoon. Like Doug, Josh was in a league of his own, eviscerating every single one of the plaintiff’s arguments before the court decided to postpone trial—a small win for our client, who remains on the disputed property.
Joseph Tracy, Florida State University, Orlando Office
My favorite part about being a summer associate for Rumberger is all of the practical experience the firm gives you. On Monday, my mentor allowed me to attend a mediation he was doing. I have never seen anything like it before, and it was really interesting to watch the attempted resolution of a live case before trial. We also did practice depositions this week, which was a lot of fun and I got some really helpful feedback.
Julie Potts, University of Alabama, Birmingham Office
On Tuesday, the summer associates had our deposition seminar and workshop. I was really nervous about this because I’d never seen a real deposition before, much less taken one. Darryl Gavin, a partner in the firm, gave us great advice about how to take or defend a deposition, what types of questions you should ask, and how to outline your approach. As I prepared to depose him (acting in the role of plaintiff) on Thursday morning, I was very worried that I would embarrass myself somehow or miss a big part of the case. Once I started taking the deposition, though, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be! Darryl’s tips were great, and I was able to apply them during the deposition. Once I was done, Darryl gave me helpful feedback and told me that you improve after every deposition you give until you’re completely comfortable with them. It was so great to get advice and be able to practice in front of someone who has so much legal experience! I’m so glad the other associates and I are getting opportunities to do these workshops. I think I’ll be much more confident when I have to take my first real deposition now that I’ve gotten a chance to practice.
Meghan Kennedy, University of Florida, Orlando Office
On Tuesday, the summer associates attended a deposition seminar put on by Orlando partner Darryl Gavin. This past semester at school, I was unable to secure a spot in our deposition strategies course, so I was particularly excited and grateful for this workshop. As a fair estimate, Darryl has taken nearly 1,000 depositions! It was an honor being educated in his tricks of the trade. The deposition seminar was given to us in preparation for our first practical assignment: taking a deposition.
The deposition took place Thursday morning and I was the first to perform. If you couldn’t tell, I made it out alive and well! What I thought would be a nerve-wracking and slightly stressful experience, turned out to be wonderfully pleasant. That’s probably because this deposition was limited to 20 minutes as opposed to the nightmarish tales I’ve heard of depositions that turn from hours into days.
Graham Marcus, Stetson University, Orlando Office
Life comes at you fast, and so do summer associate assignments! We have now completed our second incredible week here at RumbergerKirk and our scheduled orientation programs have been all but replaced by legal assignments and seminar workshops. Each assignment carries with it a sense of excitement. It is an incredible feeling to be working on real matters for real clients. One of the most important qualities about working in a law office is the ability to gain exposure to a plethora of diverse legal work since I am still not quite set on what kind of law I would like to practice. This summer at RumbergerKirk has, even in the first two weeks, met that objective by providing me with an assortment of cases that will hopefully guide me towards the area of law I feel most passionately about.