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Trial Lawyer's Notebook:
Walking Out of a Deposition

By Tony Zeuli of Merchant & Gould

Tony Zeuli is a trial lawyer specializing in patent and trademark litigation with the IP firm Merchant & Gould. He also has considerable experience before the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Tony has given several presentations and published numerous articles on intellectual property litigation, especially patent claim construction. His articles have also appeared in The Federal Lawyer and Bench & Bar. Prior to joining Merchant & Gould, Tony was a physics engineer at Argonne National Laboratory, where he was involved in the study of nuclear physics. Mr. Zeuli can be reached at 612.371.5208, or by email at, or by visiting his web site at

I have only done it twice in my career, but recently I put an end to a long, oppressive deposition by walking my client, the witness, right out of the door. Candidly, I was scared both times. But sometimes it is the only option you have when you truly believe that the attorney taking the deposition is abusing the fact that no judge is sitting there to put an end to lines of questions that would never, ever, be permitted in court. As you know from earlier writings, I am a strong advocate of witness preparation. I am not an advocate of interfering with the other side’s right to take depositions...

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