Depositions are scheduled events on days supposedly mutually convenient to all parties. At the depositions, one or more attorneys will question the deponent, or deposition witness, at length.
In the best of both possible worlds, the attorneys who will attend will informally decide which days are mutually convenient before one of them sends a notice of deposition or subpoena to the others. (A "notice of deposition" is sent if the deponent is a party. A subpoena is served if the deponent is a nonparty.)
If they are not "friendly" to or "cooperative" with each other, one attorney will send a notice of deposition -- first -- to the others for a particular day. Then there will be a few phonecalls to agree on a mutually convenient day and you will be charged somewhere between five minutes and an hour . . . depending . . . for the rescheduling of the planned deposition.
In addition to the interested
Professional Reporter ["RPR"] must be present to record what is
by everyone attending.
The RPR will charge -- at least in Massachusetts -- between $2.75 and $3.00 per page. When the transcription is ready, the deponent will be given 30 days to read, correct, and sign the transcript. The deponent must list his or her corrections on an errata sheet. Although a deponent may waive reading and signing, I would not recommend doing so in a case involving such serious charges as sexual abuse or assault or rape of child. Read Rule 30(e) of your state's Rules of Civil Procedure for directions on how to use the deposition as though fully signed.
Each page contains a maximum of 24 lines. Margins will differ from a character space or two inside vertical lines on the page to as many spaces as is necessary to leave you with a two-inch stripe down the middle of the page -- like a skunk's stripe. The latter is possible if a reporter, after an hour's drive, is faced with very short deposition and the sale of only one transcript: only to the attorney who ordered the deposition. Other reporters will not resort to the mutant transcript; they will instead charge an attendance fee of, say, $100.
In some states, like Massachusetts, the RPRs are not regulated and there are no rules. That may or may not have an impact on you.
For instance, some attorneys use the presence of a reporter like a weapon. Some attorneys are grateful a reporter is there. Some reporters will say, "I cannot go off the record unless the attorney who called the deposition allows it." FALSE! For this reason, check whether the reporters in your state are regulated and check if your reporters has a set of guidelines.
Coaching of the deponent by his or her attorney is also a No-no. To avoid the coaching being put on the transcript, some attorneys will repeatedly ask to go off the record and/or to go out of the room or to go to the men's room.
In such a situation, tell the reporter to note the time the attorney and his client left and returned to the room.
If the offensive conduct gets
excessive in the
extreme, call the court and speak to a clerk. Some judges will
on the phone; others will make you take the trip to court. All
like to get in the middle of a discovery dispute, so this remedy should
be used sparingly. If necessary, you can suspend
the deposition, go to court another day, and resume the deposition on a
- NOTE -
You can continue the deposition after suspending it;
you cannot after terminating it . . . and you must note on the record
(while the reporter is capturing your words)
the type of cessation: that is,
whether the deposition is being suspended or being terminated.
The charges of sexual abuse and child rape are serious and should not be fought without the benefit of legal services. Generally charges are brought to an administrative agency and supported shortly thereafter, and must be appealed within 30 days.
Therefore, if you learn that you have been charged, you must seek professional legal advice immediately. You do not want to risk losing your earliest appellate rights -- your right to appeal the decision of the administrative agency that has agreed with the complaint filed against you.Attorneys in your local area should be familiar with your state's statutes, rules, and regulation, administrative and court procedures and decisions. Go for consultation immediately. Attorneys, like other people, differ in their styles. Find one in whom you can put your confidence and trust.