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Justin Bieber's deposition video is going viral. But aside from being entertaining to watch, there are some legal lessons to learn too.
While depositions aren't trials, for many average Americans, a depo can feel like an inquisition. It doesn't have to be, however.
According to the depo video obtained by TMZ, Justin Bieber acted atrociously during a recent deposition. Here's a clip to prove it -- and five lessons for how not to act in a depo, care of the Biebs:
1. Don't Be Defensive.
This is particularly rough if the subject of the deposition may be embarassing or seem to center on your faults, but being defensive will only serve to make you look bad. It might also make the depo last longer.
Remember, depos are often video recorded, and as TMZ made perfectly clear, not only lawyers get to see them.
2. Answer Politely or Be Silent.
Depositions typically take place at a lawyer's office or a court reporting facility, and there isn't a judge there to let you know when to answer -- and when to keep your mouth shut. Try to answer as politely as possible, and if you're worried about a question, be silent and wait until your attorney (if one is representing you) steps in.
3. Be Truthful.
There's no judge or courtroom involved, but depositions are taken under oath. Lying in a deposition can land you in jail for perjury. Do not feel pressured, however, to produce answers when you aren't sure. It's perfectly legal to say "I do not remember" or "I don't recall."
Just don't say it with a big smirk on your face.
4. Don't Try to Be Funny.
This isn't a scene in an Aaron Sorkin drama where you punch in a few witty quips to the court reporter because, dammit, you have a news show/government to run -- it's a real deposition. Being purposefully evasive or combative during a depo only serves to waste time, mostly yours.
Lawyers appreciate your candor, not your humor, so save your jokes for the ride home.
5. Don't Storm Out.
Drama queens everywhere appreciate a good storming out, but doing so in a depo won't help. If you're upset by a line of questioning, you may ask either lawyer for a brief break to compose yourself. But don't fool yourself, you can't escape an area of questioning by taking a break -- even if it's about a former/current love interest.
If you're still worried about going into a depo, consult an attorney who knows the ropes.