LONG FB Live Video: Questions You Should NEVER Answer at Trial In a Civil Lawsuit Here in New York;
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LONG FB Live Video: Questions You Should NEVER Answer at Trial In a Civil Lawsuit Here in New York;

January 13, 2020


Hello everybody, here’s the ticker coming
across, just like CNN does. A little bit corny. Here we go. Today’s video is Questions You Should Never
Answer At Trial. Please stand by. Please stand by while more viewers join us. Remember, today’s topic is brought to you
by me, Gerry Oginski, unsponsored, and if you want more information, stick around because
here’s what you’re gonna learn in today’s video: questions you should never answer at
trial. Please stand by while we move this corny piece
of paper across the screen, just like CNN does on the lower third ticker, right? Here we go again. Great. We’re gonna hang on till a couple more people
show up, and then we’re gonna go ahead and tell you about questions you should never
answer at trial. Please stand by while I continue to move this
around in a very corny fashion. Hey Brian, how are you? Nice to see you. As you notice, this quality image of a ticker
going by like CNN, questions you should never answer at trial. I’m sure Brian can chirp in because he’s an
excellent trial attorney in California, so thanks for joining me Brian. I know it’s three hours earlier over there. Probably bright and early morning, here it’s
mid-day. It’s a gorgeous day here in Great Neck, New
York, and I wanted to share some great information with everybody today so that they have a clear
understanding of not just many questions, but I’m gonna focus on two questions that
you should never, ever answer at trial. Okay? It’s very important for you to understand
the two key questions that you should never answer at trial. All right, so welcome, and thanks for joining
me. I’m Gerry Oginski, I’m a New York medical
malpractice and personal injury attorney, and today, I am talking about questions you
should never answer at trial. Okay? No need to stand by anymore because we are
live here on Facebook video. All right, well, welcome everybody. I want to share this great information with
you because I want you to understand that there are two questions that you should never,
ever answer during a civil trial, at least here in New York, and I’ll tell you what they
are in just a moment. By the way, this also applies …
Hey Scott, nice to see you. This also applies during pretrial testimony,
known as a deposition. That’s a question and answer session given
under oath in the attorney’s office where now you’re being asked questions in anticipation
or in preparation for the upcoming trial about a year away. Let’s go through it again, questions you should
never, ever answer at trial. Now you should know something very important. In these civil lawsuits … That’s like a
disappearing act, I disappear off camera and come right back. All right. In these civil lawsuits, we have to go through
what’s known as the discovery process, and that gives the other side, the defense an
opportunity to learn information about us, learn information about our claim, learn information
about what it is that we are claiming and alleging in this particular case. We are obligated to give certain documents
to the defense, and those documents will help the defense understand your claim. In a medical malpractice case for example,
we want to be able to show that number one, the doctor whom you are suing or the hospital
staff was careless, and number two, that the wrongdoing was a cause of your injury, and
number three, that your injuries are significant and permanent, and all of those things have
to be confirmed by a qualified medical expert, who tells us, “Yes, your doctor was careless. His carelessness was a cause of your injury,
and yes, your injuries are significant or permanent.” During the course of the lawsuit process,
the defense lawyer, the attorney representing the doctor whom you have sued, will have an
opportunity to question you during that pretrial question and answer session known as a deposition,
and now during the course of this question and answer session which takes place in your
attorney’s office, in fact in his conference room. By the way you should know that during this
deposition there’s no judge present, there’s no jury present, but instead there is a court
reporter there to record all of the questions and all of your answers, and all of that information
gets transcribed into a booklet called a transcript, and that information can and will be used
against you when your case gets to trial. That’s very important to understand. If you’re joining me and you want to know
what we’re talking about today, today’s topic is Questions You Should Never Ever Answer
At Trial, or a deposition, okay? I’m focusing on … Hey Jordan, nice to see
you. I’m focusing on two specific questions and
it’s gonna be very clear why you should never answer those types of questions, so questions
you should never be asking at trial or during your pretrial question and answer session. Thanks so much Jordan I’m glad you’re with
me today. Now during the course of questioning, the
defense lawyer will have an opportunity to learn lots of information, and he might be
asking questions that are inappropriate and have nothing to do with your particular case,
but you know something? Because this is discovery, he’s permitted
in New York to ask you questions that you believe have nothing to do with the issues
in the case. He might be asking you things off the wall
questions, questions having nothing to do with your claims against the doctor, questions
having nothing to do specifically with the damages and the injuries that you’re claiming,
but the reality is, because this is discovery, you are required in New York to answer those
questions except, except for two questions. You want to know what they are? Okay, I’m gonna tell you in just a second,
but this applies also at the time of trial. Now when you’re at trial and the defense attorney
is asking you those same questions, many of those questions, if they are not appropriate,
at least I as the attorney have the opportunity to jump up out of my seat and say “Objection,
judge! That’s irrelevant.” Now the judge can make an instant decision
about whether or not what I am saying is true and if in fact this has nothing to do with
the issues in the case or the defenses that the doctor or hospital staff is raising, then
the judge will stop the defense attorney from asking those questions. Here’s two specific questions that are going
to arise that under no circumstance should you be answering. The first question is, “Hey Mr. Jones, isn’t
it true you spoke to your attorney before I’m questioning you?” Well, he can learn the answer to that question. Yes, of course it’s true. “Tell me Mr. Jones what you and your attorney
talked about before I got to question you.” “Objection! That’s privileged information.” Amazing, isn’t that? That’s the question that you are never to
answer. Why not? It’s because any conversation that you have
with your attorney is confidential. We call that privileged which means the defense
attorney can sit there for days and days and weeks asking over and over again, “Hey, tell
me what you and your attorney talked about.” The reality is that under no circumstance
are you to disclose the information that you and your attorney talked about. Now people who don’t understand the attorney
client privilege may turn around and say, “Hey, if you’ve got nothing to hide, why don’t
you just tell us what you guys talked about?” Because they think that you’re trying to hide
behind some type of wall, right? They think that you’re trying to hide behind
something that does what? That prevents them from learning information
that will help them in defending the case or in bringing the case. When the attorney turns around and says, “Hey,
what did you and your attorney talk about?” I’m just using this mini bat as a metaphor,
okay? Not real, not used at deposition or trial,
but just as a metaphor. When he badgers you into asking the question,
“Hey, tell me what you and your attorney talked about. If not, I’m gonna beat you over the head.” No, no, no. That can’t happen. Your attorney has every right to jump up and
say, “Objection! That’s privileged information.” You know what? He’s absolutely right. If this were to take place at trial, your
attorney would have every right to jump up out of his seat as if you press an objection
button, you’ll notice the attorney jumps up out of his seat and says, “Objection judge! That’s privileged.” The judge would then be absolutely correct
to turn and get his microphone out … No, to turn around and tell the jury, “You’re
absolutely right counsel. Objection sustained,” which means, “Defense
attorney, you can’t ask that question, and the witness, you are not to answer that question.” In all likelihood, the judge is gonna turn
to the jury and tell them that because communications with your attorney are confidential, anything
that you say to your attorney, anything he says to you, is private and cannot be disclosed. That is one key question you are never to
answer during a deposition or at trial. I’m gonna take a quick unsponsored water break
right here as we continue on with today’s topic, Questions You Should Never Answer At
Trial. Please stand by while I grab my Poland Spring
water. They should pay me for this because here I
am drinking their water on camera, getting a nice thirst-quenching drink. Yes, it’s true. Poland Springs is a drink that I drink and
they are not paying me for that. Outrageous. How dare they. They should contact me to sponsor this video. All right, so here we go again. Now remember, we are here talking about Questions
You Should Never Answer At Trial, and here’s my ticker-tape topic of the day. Now you’ve stood by, right? Thanks so much. All right. Now we’re at the second question you should
never answer during trial or during a deposition. The second question you should never answer
is you are now on the witness stand. We’re at trial. The defense lawyer is now questioning you
on cross-examination, and now, what does he say? He says, “Hey, you son of a bitch …” No,
he doesn’t say that. Instead, he turns around, and now, instead
of asking you questions about the issues in the case … Excuse me, one second. Instead of asking you questions about the
facts of the case or the claims of the case or instead of asking you about questions about
your damages and the injuries you sustained, instead, he comes right out and he says, “Hey
Mr. Jones, how many times did you beat your wife last night?” What? What? How many times did you beat your wife last
night? Number one, that assumes a couple of things. Number one, it assumes that he’s married,
so assuming that he’s married. Number two, it assumes that he beats his wife. Number three, it assumes that he beats his
wife at night. Can you imagine that? How crazy is that question? It’s got nothing to do with the issues in
the case. It’s got nothing to do with anything, not
with the damages, but the defense attorney might turn around and argue that it’s a collateral
matter, that the jury should be entitled to know about this guy’s propensity to beat up
his wife at night as opposed to any other time, assuming that’s what he does. That is an outrageous question having nothing
to do with the issues in the case, having nothing to do with the facts of the case,
having nothing to do with anything. Now I am going to assume also that this defense
attorney has a good faith basis upon which to ask that exact question, and maybe he does. Maybe that you’ve had a history where now
you’ve had some domestic abuse and now you are arrested, and that’s a clear public record. If he has a good faith basis to ask that question,
okay, now he may be able to get away with part of the question, I’ll tell you about
that in a moment, but for most people who don’t have that type of history and now he
gets up at trial and cross-examines you and he turns around and says, “Hey Mr. Jones,
how many times did you beat your wife each night?” Whoa. That is outrageous. That is so palpably improper, and you will
notice when that happens, your attorney, as if you push that ejection button out of his
seat and it springs right up, he’s gonna jump right up, yell out, “Objection judge! That’s palpably improper.” You know what? It sure is. It is palpably improper, for him to ask such
an outrageous question because now, that type of question will inflame the jury. The jury doesn’t know anything about this
guy’s history. The jury doesn’t know whether what this attorney
is asking is true or not, and by simply asking the question, it automatically suggests or
implies to the jury that number one, this guy beats his wife, number two, he does it
at night, and number three, it somehow is related to the claims being made in this case. Isn’t that fascinating? In that instance, the judge will be well within
his right to turn around and say, “You know what counsel? Objection sustained,” which means, “You cannot
ask that question, and Mr. Witness, Mr. Jones, you are not to answer that question.” That’s what it means when a question is so
outrageous, rights? Questions never … There we go, never, never
to answer at trial. You have to wait to hear whether or not the
judge permits you to answer that question, and that is such an outrageous off-the-wall
question that it does not require an answer. Now it would be kind of embarrassing and really
awkward if the judge were to turn around after the defense lawyer says, “Hey, you know what
judge? I have a good faith basis upon which to go
ahead and ask this question. It goes to his credibility.” If it really goes to his credibility and there
are issues here about maybe his mental status, issues about his outrageous bursts of anger,
then maybe, just maybe, the judge will turn to the witness and say, “Objection overruled,”
which means, that even though the attorney has objected to this question … ”
Hey Steven, nice to see you.” We’re talking about questions you should never,
ever answer at trial. Okay? You don’t have to stand by, you’re with us,
but I’m talking about questions you should never answer at trial or during a deposition. The first one just to recap was questions
that are privileged where the defense attorney is asking about confidential discussions between
you and your attorney, and now we’re up to the second, the second question that you should
never answer at trial and that is a question that is so palpably improper and Steven, you’ll
now this, coming from a criminal law background, where you represent people who are sued … Not
sued … Hey Alan, nice to see you … Where people are brought up on charges for criminal
conduct. The next question is, “Hey Mr. Jones, how
many times do you beat your wife each night?” That’s an outrageous question. That’s palpably improper, and the judge would
be within his right to turn around and say “Objection sustained. Counsel, you can’t ask that question. Mr. Jones, you cannot answer that question. You are not to answer that question, but if
…” Now we’re taking the other extreme. If the defense lawyer has a good faith basis
to justify asking that question and the answer might impact on his credibility as well as
the claims that he’s making in this medical malpractice case, then maybe, just maybe,
the judge is gonna turn to the witness and say, “Mr. Jones, you have to answer that question,
even if you don’t want to answer that question.” Now you’ve got a problem. Now you’ve got some really awkward scenario
where you’re bringing a claim against your doctor claiming that he violated the basic
standards of medical care causing you harm and injury and now this defense lawyer has
pulled something out of your background. He’s got a document here showing that you
were arrested, you were convicted, or you plead guilty to some crime involving some
type of spousal abuse, and now, he wants the jury to understand who you really are. He wants the jury to know that you’re not
an upstanding citizen, and he has every right to do that if, if, he can show that they are
somehow related or it affects your credibility and the jury needs to know it when you’re
testifying about these claims against the doctor. Very very interesting question, but for the
most part, most people do not have spousal abuse claims that are verified and have been
… You plead guilty or you were convicted and now, the question never to answer at trial
is an off the wall, outrageous question where now, you’re stuck, and that’s a position you
don’t want to be in, but for the majority of times, the judge is gonna turn around and
say “Objection sustained. Defense lawyer, you can’t ask that question. You know it’s improper. Mr. Jones, do not answer that question. Move on, counselor.” Those are the two key questions you never
have to answer, at least here in New York, in a civil lawsuit involving accident matters,
medical malpractice matters and even wrongful death matters. You know, so why do I share this quick information
with you? I share this quick information about questions
you should never answer at trial to give you an understanding of what goes on in these
civil lawsuits here in New York. You know, I understand you’re watching this
video because it came up on your Facebook feed on a beautiful day today and you know,
you’re interested. The title got you interested and now you started
watching and now you’ve learned some great information or you’re watching this on the
replay and now you’re actively searching for this information. Maybe you’re a litigant or maybe you want
to learn more about how your type of matter works, and now you’ve come across my video
about questions you should never answer at trial. Let me share something with you. If your matter happened here in New York and
you’re thinking about bringing a lawsuit but haven’t done so yet because you still have
questions that need to be answered, what I encourage you to do is pick up the phone and
call me. I can answer your legal questions. You know, this is something that I do every
single day and I’d love to chat with you. You can reach me at 516-487-8207, or by email
at [email protected] That’s it for today’s quick video. I’m Gerry Oginski, I hope you have a wonderful
day. Take care everybody. Bye bye.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. The privilege does not belong to the attorney, but to the client and the client can waive the privilege at any time. So most of what was said in the first 9+ minutes is crap, including the endorsement of Poland Springs water. He should go to the trouble of learning a little bit about Nestle Corp. and how bad it is for the environment and our country.

  2. Gerry, you are the greatest. Somewhat goofy, but the information you share is deep and important. That's what counts – don't change and keep doing what you do!

  3. i'm in Quebec, Canada so i couldn't find any english videos … but you're videos are very clear and concise – thank you so much !

  4. your content, when you finally get to it, is great. But your waffle & constant repetition & “hellos” are very painful.

  5. The wife-beating question might actually help the plaintiff. I mean, maybe she was asking for it. Did she burn dinner? Was dinner late? Did she talk back to him when he clearly warned her that back talk would end up with two black eyes? And, let's face it. He doesn't beat her wife. Clearly she walked into a door. Clumsy. I think that would make him more sympathetic in the eyes of a jury.

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