Is There a Time Limit to a Deposition?

Full Question:

Are there any limitations regarding the length of time a deposition may go on? I suspect that counsel is milking fees from the insurance carrier providing cost of defense. This is a wrongful termination/harassment case.
01/30/2010   |   Category: Discovery ยป Depositions   |   State: California   |   #20696

Answer:

The local court rules may set a time limit for depositions. The rules may also authorize, and even suggest, that such limits be established. I suggest you call the clerk of courts at the local court for applicable rules. The court may limit the scope of discovery if it determines that the burden, expense, or intrusiveness of that discovery clearly outweighs the likelihood that the information sought will lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.

A court may issue a protective order so that the deposition may only be conducted with certain people present. The court may also order that certain information not be disclosed to a party or intervenor. These rules typically apply to persons named as parties or intervenors in the lawsuit. It is possible for unnamed parties to be excluded without a court order. Upon request, a person not a party may obtain materials used in trial preparation, showing a statement concerning the action or its subject matter previously made by that person. If the request is refused, the person may move for a court order.

Please see the following CA laws:

2017.010. Unless otherwise limited by order of the court in
accordance with this title, any party may obtain discovery regarding
any matter, not privileged, that is relevant to the subject matter
involved in the pending action or to the determination of any motion
made in that action, if the matter either is itself admissible in
evidence or appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of
admissible evidence. Discovery may relate to the claim or defense of
the party seeking discovery or of any other party to the action.
Discovery may be obtained of the identity and location of persons
having knowledge of any discoverable matter, as well as of the
existence, description, nature, custody, condition, and location of
any document, tangible thing, or land or other property.

2017.020.
(a) The court shall limit the scope of discovery if it
determines that the burden, expense, or intrusiveness of that
discovery clearly outweighs the likelihood that the information
sought will lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. The court
may make this determination pursuant to a motion for protective order
by a party or other affected person. This motion shall be
accompanied by a meet and confer declaration under Section 2016.040.



(b) The court shall impose a monetary sanction under Chapter 7
(commencing with Section 2023.010) against any party, person, or
attorney who unsuccessfully makes or opposes a motion for a
protective order, unless it finds that the one subject to the
sanction acted with substantial justification or that other
circumstances make the imposition of the sanction unjust.

2025.310. (a) A person may take, and any person other than the
deponent may attend, a deposition by telephone or other remote
electronic means.

(b) The court may expressly provide that a nonparty deponent may
appear at the deposition by telephone if it finds there is good cause
and no prejudice to any party. A party deponent shall appear at the
deposition in person and be in the presence of the deposition
officer.

(c) The procedures to implement this section shall be established
by court order in the specific action or proceeding or by the
California Rules of Court.

2025.320. Except as provided in Section 2020.420, the deposition
shall be conducted under the supervision of an officer who is
authorized to administer an oath and is subject to all of the
following requirements:

(a) The officer shall not be financially interested in the action
and shall not be a relative or employee of any attorney of the
parties, or of any of the parties.

(b) Services and products offered or provided by the deposition
officer or the entity providing the services of the deposition
officer to any party or to any party's attorney or third party who is
financing all or part of the action shall be offered to all parties
or their attorneys attending the deposition. No service or product
may be offered or provided by the deposition officer or by the entity
providing the services of the deposition officer to any party or any
party's attorney or third party who is financing all or part of the
action unless the service or product is offered or provided to all
parties or their attorneys attending the deposition. All services and
products offered or provided shall be made available at the same
time to all parties or their attorneys.

(c) The deposition officer or the entity providing the services of
the deposition officer shall not provide to any party or any party's
attorney or third party who is financing all or part of the action
any service or product consisting of the deposition officer's
notations or comments regarding the demeanor of any witness,
attorney, or party present at the deposition. The deposition officer
or entity providing the services of the deposition officer shall not
collect any personal identifying information about the witness as a
service or product to be provided to any party or third party who is
financing all or part of the action.

(d) Upon the request of any party or any party's attorney
attending a deposition, any party or any party's attorney attending
the deposition shall enter in the record of the deposition all
services and products made available to that party or party's
attorney or third party who is financing all or part of the action by
the deposition officer or by the entity providing the services of
the deposition officer. A party in the action who is not represented
by an attorney shall be informed by the noticing party or the party's
attorney that the unrepresented party may request this statement.

(e) Any objection to the qualifications of the deposition officer
is waived unless made before the deposition begins or as soon
thereafter as the ground for that objection becomes known or could be
discovered by reasonable diligence.

(f) Violation of this section by any person may result in a civil
penalty of up to five thousand dollars ($5,000) imposed by a court of
competent jurisdiction.

2025.330. (a) The deposition officer shall put the deponent under
oath or affirmation.

(b) Unless the parties agree or the court orders otherwise, the
testimony, as well as any stated objections, shall be taken
stenographically. If taken stenographically, it shall be by a person
certified pursuant to Article 3 (commencing with Section 8020) of
Chapter 13 of Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code.

(c) The party noticing the deposition may also record the
testimony by audio or video technology if the notice of deposition
stated an intention also to record the testimony by either of those
methods, or if all the parties agree that the testimony may also be
recorded by either of those methods. Any other party, at that party's
expense, may make an audio or video record of the deposition,
provided that the other party promptly, and in no event less than
three calendar days before the date for which the deposition is
scheduled, serves a written notice of this intention to make an audio
or video record of the deposition testimony on the party or attorney
who noticed the deposition, on all other parties or attorneys on
whom the deposition notice was served under Section 2025.240, and on
any deponent whose attendance is being compelled by a deposition
subpoena under Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 2020.010). If this
notice is given three calendar days before the deposition date, it
shall be made by personal service under Section 1011.

(d) Examination and cross-examination of the deponent shall
proceed as permitted at trial under the provisions of the Evidence
Code.

(e) In lieu of participating in the oral examination, parties may
transmit written questions in a sealed envelope to the party taking
the deposition for delivery to the deposition officer, who shall
unseal the envelope and propound them to the deponent after the oral
examination has been completed.

2025.340. If a deposition is being recorded by means of audio or
video technology by, or at the direction of, any party, the following
procedure shall be observed:

(a) The area used for recording the deponent's oral testimony
shall be suitably large, adequately lighted, and reasonably quiet.

(b) The operator of the recording equipment shall be competent to
set up, operate, and monitor the equipment in the manner prescribed
in this section. Except as provided in subdivision (c), the operator
may be an employee of the attorney taking the deposition unless the
operator is also the deposition officer.

(c) If a video recording of deposition testimony is to be used
under subdivision (d) of Section 2025.620, the operator of the
recording equipment shall be a person who is authorized to administer
an oath, and shall not be financially interested in the action or be
a relative or employee of any attorney of any of the parties, unless
all parties attending the deposition agree on the record to waive
these qualifications and restrictions.

(d) Services and products offered or provided by the deposition
officer or the entity providing the services of the deposition
officer to any party or to any party's attorney or third party who is
financing all or part of the action shall be offered or provided to
all parties or their attorneys attending the deposition. No service
or product may be offered or provided by the deposition officer or by
the entity providing the services of the deposition officer to any
party or any party's attorney or third party who is financing all or
part of the action unless the service or product is offered or
provided to all parties or their attorneys attending the deposition.
All services and products offered or provided shall be made available
at the same time to all parties or their attorneys.

(e) The deposition officer or the entity providing the services of
the deposition officer shall not provide to any party or any other
person or entity any service or product consisting of the deposition
officer's notations or comments regarding the demeanor of any
witness, attorney, or party present at the deposition. The deposition
officer or the entity providing the services of the deposition
officer shall not collect any personal identifying information about
the witness as a service or product to be provided to any party or
third party who is financing all or part of the action.

(f) Upon the request of any party or any party's attorney
attending a deposition, any party or any party's attorney attending
the deposition shall enter in the record of the deposition all
services and products made available to that party or party's
attorney or third party who is financing all or part of the action by
the deposition officer or by the entity providing the services of
the deposition officer. A party in the action who is not represented
by an attorney shall be informed by the noticing party that the
unrepresented party may request this statement.

(g) The operator shall not distort the appearance or the demeanor
of participants in the deposition by the use of camera or sound
recording techniques.

(h) The deposition shall begin with an oral or written statement
on camera or on the audio recording that includes the operator's name
and business address, the name and business address of the operator'
s employer, the date, time, and place of the deposition, the caption
of the case, the name of the deponent, a specification of the party
on whose behalf the deposition is being taken, and any stipulations
by the parties.

(i) Counsel for the parties shall identify themselves on camera or
on the audio recording.

(j) The oath shall be administered to the deponent on camera or on
the audio recording.

(k) If the length of a deposition requires the use of more than
one unit of tape or electronic storage, the end of each unit and the
beginning of each succeeding unit shall be announced on camera or on
the audio recording.

(l) At the conclusion of a deposition, a statement shall be made
on camera or on the audio recording that the deposition is ended and
shall set forth any stipulations made by counsel concerning the
custody of the audio or video recording and the exhibits, or
concerning other pertinent matters.

(m) A party intending to offer an audio or video recording of a
deposition in evidence under Section 2025.620 shall notify the court
and all parties in writing of that intent and of the parts of the
deposition to be offered. That notice shall be given within
sufficient time for objections to be made and ruled on by the judge
to whom the case is assigned for trial or hearing, and for any
editing of the recording. Objections to all or part of the deposition
shall be made in writing. The court may permit further designations
of testimony and objections as justice may require. With respect to
those portions of an audio or video record of deposition testimony
that are not designated by any party or that are ruled to be
objectionable, the court may order that the party offering the
recording of the deposition at the trial or hearing suppress those
portions, or that an edited version of the deposition recording be
prepared for use at the trial or hearing. The original audio or video
record of the deposition shall be preserved unaltered. If no
stenographic record of the deposition testimony has previously been
made, the party offering an audio or video recording of that
testimony under Section 2025.620 shall accompany that offer with a
stenographic transcript prepared from that recording.


RULE 3.1010. ORAL DEPOSITIONS BY TELEPHONE,
VIDEOCONFERENCE, OR OTHER REMOTE ELECTRONIC MEANS

(a) Taking depositions

Any party may take an oral deposition by telephone,
videoconference, or other remote electronic means, provided:

(1) Notice is served with the notice of deposition or the
subpoena;

(2) That party makes all arrangements for any other party to
participate in the deposition in an equivalent manner.
However, each party so appearing must pay all expenses
incurred by it or properly allocated to it;

(3) Any party may be personally present at the deposition
without giving prior notice.

(b) Appearing and participating in depositions

Any party may appear and participate in an oral deposition
by telephone, videoconference, or other remote electronic
means, provided:

(1) Written notice of such appearance is served by personal
delivery or fax at least three court days before the
deposition;

(2) The party so appearing makes all arrangements and pays
all expenses incurred for the appearance.

(c) Party deponent's appearance

A party deponent must appear at his or her deposition in
person and be in the presence of the deposition officer.

(d) Nonparty deponent's appearance

A nonparty deponent may appear at his or her deposition by
telephone, videoconference, or other remote electronic means
with court approval upon a finding of good cause and no
prejudice to any party. The deponent must be sworn in the
presence of the deposition officer or by any other means
stipulated to by the parties or ordered by the court. Any
party may be personally present at the deposition.

(e) Court orders

On motion by any person, the court in a specific action may
make such other orders as it deems appropriate.


Please see the information at the following links:

http://definitions.uslegal.com/d/discovery-depositions/

http://definitions.uslegal.com/search.php?q=discov

Please see the forms at the following links:

http://secure.uslegalforms.com/cgi-bin/forms/query.pl?S-T-CA-B-deposition

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