Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Depositions
I’m sure somewhere along the way you have or will discover that there is a difference in the way the original transcript is handled — there is the “LA stip” or “Southern California stip” and there is the way it is done everywhere else, which is to follow the Code. In California it is CCP 2025.550.
What the Code requires of the court reporter/firm is an original sealed transcript with attached corrections, if any. The transcript is then preserved for filing with the court.
(a) The certified transcript of a deposition shall not be filed with the court. Instead, the deposition officer shall securely seal that transcript in an envelope or package endorsed with the title of the action and marked: “Deposition of (here insert name of deponent),” and shall promptly transmit it to the attorney for the party who noticed the deposition. This attorney shall store it under conditions that will protect it against loss, destruction, or tampering.
(b) The attorney to whom the transcript of a deposition is transmitted shall retain custody of it until six months after final disposition of the action. At that time, the transcript may be destroyed, unless the court, on motion of any party and for good cause shown, orders that the transcript be preserved for a longer period.
What is Realtime?
Have you ever muted your television set and then read the closed captioning? That is done by a court reporter. Many court reporters, but not all, can hook up to the attorneys’ computer so the text can be viewed. If this is a service you desire, make sure you let the firm know so that the appropriate reporter and appropriate cables will be available. If you should need the reporter to provide you with a computer, let the firm know.
In years past it was much more tedious to produce a draft transcript. Now it can be done very quickly. Most (nearly all) reporters would like an opportunity to make some edits to the transcript before providing you with the transcript. If you are willing to wait until that evening or the next day, I promise you you will receive a much more usable transcript.
Shortening time for the witness to read
Keep in mind that most reporters will produce the transcript in eight to fourteen days from the date of the deposition as a usual turnaround time. Then you need to add 30 days from that completion date for the witness to read and correct the transcript unless they waive reading. If you have a hearing/trial date before the 30 to 40 days and you may need the original lodged with the court, then you may need to agree to shorten the time for the witness to read.