Victoria Pynchon

Victoria is an attorney-mediator with experience in complex commercial litigation and trial advocacy. Her course, called ‘The Art of the Deposition’ , is available at Solo Practice University®.

Victoria is a U.C. Davis, King Hall School of Law graduate (Order of the Coif, 1980) who spent the majority of her practice years in complex, multi-party litigation and trial. She represented companies and business owners in the pharmaceutical, financial, health care, manufacturing, entertainment, and, construction industries with specialties in antitrust, unfair competition, catastrophic insurance coverage, securities fraud, intellectual property and consumer class actions (for the prosecution and the defense).

After 25 years of legal practice during which Ms. Pynchon taught deposition and beginning trial skills for the National Institute of Trial Practice, she turned to mediation and arbitration, mediating for ADR Services, Inc. in Century City, California and arbitrating for the American Arbitration Association in Los Angeles.

In 2010, Ms. Pynchon co-founded She Negotiates Consulting and Training with her business partner, Lisa Gates, an adult learning specialist. At the same time, Lisa and Victoria joined the stable of ForbesWoman writers under their own name - She Negotiates.

Today, Victoria consults with and trains accomplished and high potential women managers, professionals, executives and entrepreneurs with the mission of closing each individual’s wage and income gap immediately and closing the gap for all women within the next ten years.
Since leaving legal practice, Victoria has authored two books, The Grownups’ ABCs of Conflict Resolution (Reason Press, 2010) and Success as a Mediator for Dummies (Wiley & Sons, 2012).

Syllabus – Art of the Deposition

  • The Funnel Technique of Questioning

Who, what, when, where, why and how. When you take a deposition, you’re being a news reporter. Open up your direct examination questioning style to get the most information possible with the least amount of effort. What you don’t know can and will hurt you.

  • Identifying necessary and helpful witnesses
  • Maximize and streamline your preliminary discovery to identify the witnesses necessary to prepare your case for trial and settlement.

  • Noticing and taking designee depositions: strategy and tactics
  • Plan and prepare for depositions of corporate designees to learn what the corporation knows and tie a ribbon around it before trial.

  • Technology – Live Note and Beyond
  • What you need to know about the use and abuse of deposition technology, including real-time reporting and video-taping of deposition testimony.

  • Your relationship with the Court Reporter
  • How to maximize your home field advantage and minimize damage on your adversary’s turf.

  • Procedural and Tactical Differences for Party and Third-party depositions
  • Too few attorneys remember that a third party witness must be examined as if s/he were testifying at the time of trial. Learn the techniques necessary to introduce third party deposition testimony at trial as well as the means of gaining binding admissions from party opponents.

  • Maximizing discovery opportunities in time-limited deposition jurisdictions
  • You have four hours to take the deposition of the key witness. What do you do now?

  • Instructing the witness: procedural niceties and psychological strategies
  • Steal your opposition’s party and non-party witnesses and make them your own. Strategies and tactics for instructing the witness that will help make them your own.

  • Handling and Authenticating Documents and Establishing Exceptions to the Hearsay Rule
  • If you can mark an exhibit, authenticate it and establish the business records exception to the hearsay rule, you’ll have accomplished more in your deposition than 90% of the litigators practicing today. Learn it today. Do it tomorrow.

  • Direct examination techniques
  • The information gathering session of the deposition is over. Now you want to obtain testimony in an orderly fashion to win a summary judgment motion or box the witness in preparation for trial. Strategies and tactics.

  • Theory testing
  • You know what you want to prove but aren’t certain whether you can gather the facts necessary to do so. Learn the strategies and tactics for testing your theories with deposition witnesses – both party and non-party deponents.

  • Cross-examination
  • It’s fun and it’s easy once you know the rules. And since you’re going to settle 90% of your cases anyway, this is not only your rare Denny Crane moment, it’s also the place where you diminish your opponent’s expectations of success for the purpose of maximizing your client’s most favorable settlement opportunities.

  • Defense tactics and strategies
  • How to deal with obstreperous opposing counsel and how to defend your own deponents to your maximum strategic advantage.

  • Examining Expert Witnesses
  • Sure s/he’s a rocket scientist, but you’re in control of the rules of the litigation board game. How to learn and then burn the other side’s expert witnesses.

  • Identifying party interests to prepare cases for settlement
  • Few attorneys maximize their opportunity to explore opposing party interests for the purpose of negotiating the best settlement possible. Learn how today and implement your strategy tomorrow.