Comments from San Francisco Bay Area attorneys who attended "Great! Adverse Depositions: Principles and Principal Techniques" and/or "Mastering the Toughest-to-Craft Credibility Arguments"

"Great! Adverse Depositions: Principles and Principal Techniques"

Seminar definitely delivered. Extremely useful compilation of techniques and procedures for cross-examination at deposition. Excellent practical content, particularly the selection of videotapes and the clarity of the sound and pictures. Musante was outstanding. I'll take a better deposition as a result of this course, a day well spent.

Llewellyn E. Thompson, 30-yr atty, 150 depos, Oakland

Practical and well-presented. Illustrated with attention-grabbing real-life video clips. Musante is enthusiastic, energetic and well-prepared. I will now work harder to bring deponents to committed positions so that I can use transcript with WHACK!

Keith Schirmer, 22-yr atty, 100+ depos, Edrington, Schirmer & Murphy, Pleasant Hill

This course is packed with a great amount of practical content over a short period of time. Robert Musante is knowledgeable, energetic, enthusiastic and convincing. I expect to be much more competent and confident in taking depositions.

James Choate, 6-yr atty, 1 depo, Guthrie Law Offices, Pleasanton

This seminar has completely changed my view of the purpose of the deposition and the way I will litigate my cases. Excellent instructor!

Andrew A. Smits, 12-yr atty, 75+ depos

Highly practical, at a highly sophisticated level. Goes way beyond mere finding out the facts and locking in testimony.

Steven Miyake, 16-yr atty, 100+ depos, Neal & Assoc.

Excellent! I took this seminar six years ago, so my set of rules was good, but the refresher has certainly helped. I am tenacious in getting a responsive answer and obtaining complete info. Thanks for helping me take much better depositions.

Peter Urhausen, 9-yr atty, 50+ depos, Gibbons & Conley

Excellent practical content. Instructor terrific; most effective use of powerpoint I've seen. This will give me more confidence to follow my instincts.

Stuart Goldware, 24-yr atty, 150+ depos, Frankel & Goldware, Danville

Very useful seminar. Musante is excellent! Thoroughly versed on subject. Audio and visual aids and sample testimony are very helpful.

Eileen Ring, 23-yr atty, 25 depos, Concord

Very useful. I wish I had taken it before my last deposition. As good as any seminar I've taken.

Elizabeth Riles, 3-yr atty, 15 depos, Kerosky & Bradley

Excellent practical content; excellent instructor. Much better than most.

Paul Killion, 16-yr atty, 100+ depos, Hancock, Rothert & Bunshoft

Excellent. Almost every matter involves a deposition; few invoke trial and every matter that settles does so to some degree because of the fruits of the deposition.

Best seminar yet ... honestly! Musante is an excellent communicator.

5-yr atty, 20 depos

Great practical content and Musante is even better.

Nelson Heggen, 18-yr atty, too many depos to count

Much higher practical content than all other courses I've taken. Provides nuts-and-bolts techniques instead of generalizations of limited usefulness. Musante is an excellent communicator; the course well thought out. He uses video examples of historical cases to bring principles home. It provides tools to utilize to recognize "crap" and avoid "crap" when taking depositions, techniques should work at trial as well. Everything was valuable.

Randall Wiens, 20-yr atty, 100+ depos, San Ramon

The content was excellent. Musante did a good job. Logic is never wrong, but often invisible. Like fundamentals, there are no new ones, but most people don't know them. I am looking forward to using these new skills soon.

Ken Koenen, 1-yr atty, 2 depos, Pleasanton

Great seminar! I have already learned so much more than what many senior attorneys seem to based on these rules. Musante is excellent, always kept us entertained and on our toes, which is half the battle. This seminar will greatly improve my depositions.

Monika Cooper, 5-yr atty, 10+ depos, Contra Costa County Counsel, Martinez

Extremely informative and helpful. Musante is very good, enlightening and knowledgeable. My depositions will be more thorough and complete.

C. (Mac) McBride, 25-yr atty, 60 depos, Vallejo

Far superior [to other CLEs]. Excellent practical content; moved far beyond orthodoxy. [This seminar's set of deposition rules] continues some of my instincts which I was somewhat afraid to follow...I won't be anymore! And, gave me many new rules and ideas. The link between depo and trial very potent.

Peter Lacques, 5-yr atty, 30 depos, San Francisco

Very helpful. Musante knows the subject matter is entertaining. This will make me better prepared, more aware of how I ask questions and pay closer attention to answers.

Zachary Lee, 1-yr atty, Youngman, Ericcson & Low, Walnut Creek

Very concise description of basic techniques that are often overlooked, ignored or forgotten. Musante is excellent -- lessons taught in examples. This will make me more diligent in locking up testimony, not settling for second or third-best answer.

Anonymous, 5-yr atty, 7 depos, Walnut Creek

Very practical. Knowledgeable teacher; keen insight into process. A gifted communicator. I believe it will help me "re-think" the process, where energy and focus are directed, obtaining more favorable results.

Timothy R. Wagner, 1 1/2-yr atty, 4 depos, Lafayette

Very practical. As an expert in taking courses, I can say Musante is easily in the top 5% with respect to teaching ability. I've taken this seminar before, about 6 years ago. It was very helpful then for an important depo. I expect it will be helpful again.

Edward Simone, 9-yr atty, 10 depos, Reiser & Simone, Walnut Creek

Excellent seminar…excellent speaker. Visual aids were useful to break up the lecture format. This seminar has confirmed my suspicions that the conventional wisdom about the proper way to take adverse depositions was wrong. Now I'll feel confident about taking them the way I feel makes sense with the useful tips Musante has provided.

Shanel Yang, 10-yr atty, 20-30 depos, Archer Norris

Informative. Good qualitative material to support thesis. Musante cleared up myths of adverse depositions, and demonstrated power of a symmetrically architectured deposition with clarity of example and metaphor.

Gary A. Cornwall, 22-yr atty

Excellent practical content; excellent instructor. Invaluable! Best seminar taken!

Jeff Lerman, 20-yr atty, San Rafael

Stayed awake the whole time and didn't get any work done (that I had brought with me)...that's a FIRST! Enough said. [This seminar's practical content] hit the nail on the head. Really enjoyed the approach to a deponent who says "I don't know... I don't recall...".

14-yr atty, 300 depos, Oakland

Much more practical than other CLEs. I 'm now excited instead of dreading my next depo.

3-yr atty, 1 depo, Oakland

Much more dynamic and related to my daily practice than other CLE seminars I've attended. Excellent practical content; excellent instructor. "Crap" is one of the best reminders re listening to the answer carefully. I do most, but not all of the things recommended. I hadn't really thought through why I did them. This seminar will make me reevaluate my techniques.

Tad Shapiro, 20-yr atty, 500-1000 depos, Oakland

By far, best seminar I've attended. Much more practical knowledge than other CLEs; very relevant information. Musante has great energy; use of visual aids was instrumental.

1-yr atty, 15-20 depos, Oakland

Excellent practical content, great examples. Musante was excellent -- puts his all into it -- very creative. [Seminar's set of depo rules] clearer than mine; most can be used immediately; I'm eager to apply them.

Constance McNeil, 3-yr atty, 10 depos, Oakland

Very clear and lots more interesting than most seminars. Great practical content! Would recommend to others. Musante very enthusiastic, very clear; very interesting.

2-yr atty, 1 depo, Oakland

A "10" compared to the usual "6" [of other CLEs]. Great practical content; Excellent instructor; Jesuit-like. Sensational set of depo rules.

Mark Bostick, 16-yr atty, 60 depos, Oakland

Seminar delivered. The rules were presented in a straightforward, easily understandable manner. Very good practical content. Great enthusiasm. Great use of demonstrative info/videos, etc.

Jennifer Randlett, 3-yr atty, 15 depos, Oakland

This is the best seminar I've taken. This is the stuff you don't learn in law school and you can't really learn it on the fly. Excellent practical content! Excellent instructor!

Michelle Clowser, 1 1/2 yr-atty, 30 depos, Oakland

Very useful information and better in presentation than most others. Excellent content and logical presentation that flowed well and was easy to follow. Very dynamic [instructor] and lively presentation. Kept the time moving.

I found [Musante] to be an excellent teacher and it is clearly [his] gift. The overlap of classical education references, historical references and religious protocols was very compelling and entertaining. [Musante] kept me interested and amused. While 6 1/2 hours is a very long time, it seems at that length [he] might as well go the little bit more to 7 or 8 to fully flesh it out. [Musante] is dynamic enough of a speaker to keep the audience with him and attentive.

Elizabeth C. A. Johnson, 9-yr atty, 20 depos

Musante shares his practical experience in a thoughtful (i.e., considered) presentation; it's the stuff you don't find in "CLE" presentations. Very practical. In generic terms applicable to civil cases, Musante suggests what to do -and tells you why- and what not to do -and why. [Musante] is effective, personable, enjoyable, a good teacher [who] knows how to convey what he's clearly taken the time to think through.

Daneen Flynn, 22-year atty

Ten times better [than other CLE seminars]! Well worth my time. Excellent, engaging and entertaining.

1 1/2-year atty, 10 depos

Superior to almost all others [CLEs] I have attended. It reminded me to think through future depo strategies. [The seminar] was very effective and educational - gave us some helpful strategies in dealing w/ common issues and problems in depos. [Mr. Musante] is excellent! He is able to keep the course extremely interesting, lively and entertaining, while imparting a lot of helpful and practical information. (He's also very charismatic, like the Tony Robbins of the MCLE set!)

13-year atty

VERY practical. Superior [practical content]. Superior [teaching ability]. [Most useful aspect] was impeachment tactics.

Glenna Wright, 15-year atty, Many depos

Excellent [compared to other CLEs]. Excellent [practical content]. Excellent [Musante]. BEST!

David Hill, 25-year atty, 100+ depos

One of the better [CLEs] I have attended. Interesting, well-paced, good use of visual material. Presentation and audio-visuals are excellent. [Musante] is excellent, one of the best I've seen. [Most useful aspect] was use of real life videos to illustrate points.

Rich Wilbur, 20-year atty, 1000 depos

More dynamic, more relevant, more practical, more entertaining [than other CLEs]. [Musante] is passionate about the topic, actually makes me look forward to my next depo.

9-year atty

More valuable than any other deposition technique presentation I have ever seen. The best explanation of the art of cross-examination I have ever seen. [Musante] is excellent. Lost me a few times, but I take responsibility for that. It strengthened my resolve to keep going in the face of all the meritless "asked and answered" objections.

Mary Cain, 15-year atty, 100+ depos

Musante's insights were compelling and precisely portrayed. I feel like I've just obtained 10 years of deposition experience. I appreciated its applicability to all areas of law. Loved the high energy and focus of Musante. Keeps the course on schedule. Provided techniques to "lead" the deponent to the answers I want.

Amber Mied, 1-year atty, 10 depos

Awesome. Dynamic speaker, fast-paced presentation. Ten on a scale of 1-10. I feel like I want to take his course at Boalt. [Musante] is excellent, demanding, dynamic.

Steven Miyake, 13-year atty, 100+ depos

More bang for the CLE buck in practical and substantive material applicable to my practice. The practical content of this program is very strong. Musante's quick pace delivery and command of the subject matter are compelling. [Most useful aspect] obtaining a philosophy and working approach for winning at trial.

Charles L. Thoeming, 17-yr atty, 50+ depos

Superior [compared to other CLEs]. Excellent practical content. Excellent instructor.

20-yr atty, 200 depos

Better than most; very informative. Excellent practical content. Excellent instructor. Good use of videos to emphasize points.

20-yr atty, 100+ depos

Outstanding [compared to other CLEs]. Good to excellent practical content. Outstanding [instructor].

25-yr atty, 15 depos

Probably the most useful "nuts &" seminar I've taken. Excellent practical content; excellent instructor. [Most useful aspect] attacking "memory lapses" of witness and vague answers.

Ken Pritikin, 12-yr atty, 50 depos

I felt that Musante's use of step by step "how to's" was very beneficial; most other MCLEs offer conclusions without a step by step approach. [Overall evaluation] a 10! [Musante] is excited about teaching and really knows his content. He keeps the student interested all the way through.

Victoria Santa Maria, 1-yr atty, 0 depos

Most "official" MCLE seminars are little more than lists of citations and codes -- this one teaches technique and strategy. [Instructor] excellent -- never boring. [Most useful aspect] practical strategy for making depos pay off.

Susan Guberman-Garcia

This [seminar] was much more effective [than other CLEs] in terms of practical application; very well presented too. Excellent practical content. Excellent instructor.

Ines Fraenkel, 17-yr atty, 100+ depos

Much better than other CLEs. Musante packed more practical information into one day than I would have thought possible. Excellent instructor.

Lawrence W. Hutchings, 30-yr atty, 100 depos

Very educational. Well organized and informative, a lot of practical material available for preparing for and using during depos. [Musante] energetic and able to use real life examples to show what he was teaching.

Margalo Weissman, 1 1/2-yr atty, 0 depos

This seminar represents an important intellectual achievement and was very useful to me. Excellent practical content. Excellent instructor.

Walter Rosen

Superior to most CLE seminars. Useful practical pointers. "A" grade for Mr. Musante.

25-yr atty, 200 depos

Very good seminar, practical advice, very focused. Musante is very knowledgeable, good insight into the "discipline" of taking depos; very practical hands-on teaching style. Engaging.

Anonymous, Miller Angstadt, Walnut Creek

Seminar really makes sense…I cannot wait to apply it. Musante knows [subject matter] cold. This information is widely applicable. I feel bad for my next few adverse deponents.

Noah Blechman, 6-yr atty, 35 depos, McNamara Dodge

Outstanding seminar…very compellingly presented and defended. Absolutely superior speaker…one of the very best I've ever experienced. This seminar topic was exceptional, and one of the best investments of time I can recall. A very eye-opening experience and teaching style…it gave me much to think about and use.

Pat Sweeney, 35-yr atty, 30 depos, McNamara Dodge

Excellent! Well above average. One of the BEST MCLE classes I have taken. Excellent points highlighted by good examples and anecdotes. Excellent, A++ instructor.

11-yr atty, 100 depos

Very good. Should be called "Killer Cross-Exams and Depositions".

8-yr atty, 100 depos

This is the second time I've taken [this seminar]. The first was in 6/95. The only other program that compares is Bryan Garner's "The Winning Brief". Excellent practical content. Excellent instructor.

5-yr atty, 20 depos

Very high in practical content. I learned a lot. I am trying to learn how to do my first PI case after 20 years of administrative hearings and administrative writs -- I feel a lot more comfortable about how to proceed.

16-yr atty, 2 depos

Best. I've been looking/waiting for a seminar on taking depositions that had some substance. Spectacular practical content. [Most useful aspect] the how-to, the logic.

4-yr atty, 10-15 depos

One of the most enjoyable and beneficial seminars I've attended. The content is well-organized and logical [Instructor] energetic, fast-paced delivery.

9-yr atty, 200 depos

Vastly superior -- effective combination of useful info and strong delivery. Good tools and insights not available in books. Excellent presentation.

13 yr atty, 25 depos

Best I've taken. Excellent practical content. Excellent instructor. [Most useful aspect] gathering techniques into learnable format.

11-yr atty, 700 depos

This is one of the best practical, well taught seminars I have ever attended. Excellent, mesmerizing, compelling practical content. Interesting, multi-media, liveliness make it easier to learn

18-yr atty, 15 depos

Very practical. Lots of specific examples. I found both to be very helpful. Good overview and good in the details. Also good in terms of real world, simple-speak analysis. The examples were very helpful, especially together with the written outline.

4-yr atty, 7 depos

Very engaging, very helpful. The first CLE seminar I did not fall asleep during.

6-yr atty, 20+ depos

Musante is a "must" for any serious litigator.

6-yr atty, 25 depos

More fast-paced and interesting [than other CLEs]. Excellent lecturer. Very entertaining. Held my interest.

10-yr atty, 30 depos

Very good -- much more useful than another CLE seminar I took regarding depos, which was mostly war stories. Excellent practical content. Excellent instructor.

6-yr atty, 6 depos

Top of the mark. Excellent practical content. Whole new perspective and hope for conducting future depos. Creative approach, practical; reasonable; the info gets inside--Great! [Most useful aspect] real life examples woven into techniques; also, killing the myths!

2-yr atty, 5 depos

This is a great seminar! I learned a lot and reinforced thing I already knew. Good materials and presentation. I will recommend it to other litigators. Good examples to demonstrate reasons behind the recommendations. Good advice for the taking of a deposition. [Instructor] very engaging. Good use of multimedia to keep audience involved. Much better than typical panel format. Started and finished on time. [Most useful aspect] points about using impeachment at deposition -- most other courses don't advocate this.

12-yr atty, 50 depos

Vastly superior, more informative than "Negotiate like the Pros". I wish I could retake 1/2 of my prior depos. [Instructor] energetic, very informative, easy to follow. [Most useful aspect] practical examples of the logic concepts.

9-yr atty, 100 depos

Very good seminar, practical advice, very focused. Musante is very knowledgeable, good insight into the "discipline" of taking depos; very practical hands-on teaching style. Engaging.

Anonymous, Miller Angstadt, Walnut Creek

One of the best on depos I've ever had. Excellent practical content. Excellent instructor.

23-yr atty, 100 depos