Billy McBride's Five Rules for Depositions

30 Aug 21

In the TV series Goliath (Amazon Prime), Billy Bob Thornton plays Billy McBride, a badass but disgraced trial lawyer excommunicated from the massive firm that he founded. The show is about how Billy plots his attempt at redemption and revenge.

There's a scene in which Billy is prepping a deponent, his own witness, and conveys his five rules for depositions:

But look, a deposition's not rocket science. There's a way to deal with them. You know? There's really five simple rules.

When they ask you a question, if you don't understand it, just ask them to repeat it. All right.

Then 2, if they mention a document, just ask for it. Tell them you want to see it. Right. I want to see it. Yeah. Even if you already know what they're talking about, it f*cks their rhythm up. That's what happens, yeah.

3, you should answer with as few words as possible. One is best if you can. Keep it brief. ....

4, if I object to something, don't say a f*cking word until I say so. Okay? Keep it quiet. ...

And 5, uh, about every hour or so, ask them if you can take a p*ss because that way you and I can talk with each other.