re: "Even the most unpleasant, harrowing deposition has to come to an end."
Patent Litigation is Exhibit A for the case that pre-industrial decision systems are grossly inadequate for the technology-centered post-industrial economy -- let alone for the impending digital economy. The jury/legal system is a misfit in the specialized field of intellectual property, by denying that intricate technology issues require seasoned judgement of experienced specialists. What is needed is technology-centric processes that help achieve the economic benefits from inventions and innovations, without getting mired in unproductive legal procedures.
I can only imagine the pressure on the engineer before and during questioning. Engineers like to get it right but also want to not say the wrong thing that might be twisted. I have not been involved in a patent case but would want to spend a lot of time preparing with both the source documents and practice lawyers before giving a deposition.
Anyone had the experience and would be able to comment?
I have one piece of advise, and yes, I have been in this situation several times. Answer only the exact question you were asked. As engineers we are trained to be helpful - stop it. don't. You wont be thanked for being helpful. Make sure you really understand the question, and don't help them to clarify it. Make them do the work until they have given you a question that you can answer with confidence.
It is sad that we live in the age of litigation. Granted none of us engineers are as savvy as one of the ex-USA presidents (who debated what the meaning of the word "is" is...!), I do feel that many of us lack the gift of gab to explain what we mean clearly. What Brian opines above makes much sense in such circumstances.
What would help is a better interpretation of the phrase "jury of peers". If the subject is engineering the jury should be engineers and the court officials should be experts in the field. This incidentally is practiced in many developed countries mostly with good results ...