RULES FOR TELEPHONE DEPOSITIONS
Useful Insight for Attorneys and Court Reporters
In this new world of technology and inflated travel costs, why not do telephone or videoconference deps? In fact, when timing or location are an issue for counsel or even the witness, this is the answer to endless cancellations and passing deadlines.
Since phone deps have become more popular, the question amongst reporters and attorneys has been, is it okay for me to swear in the witness over the phone? The answer is two-fold; in other words, yes and no, depending on your state.
There are states listed below that do have rules on phone deps that each notary/reporter should look into. However, according to the NCRA, the states listed on the right of the below chart have no guidelines regarding phone depositions… For my local friends, Pennsylvania and New Jersey have NO RULES.
For those states on the left, the Director of the NCRA offers these three suggestions if you find yourself in a predicament that would violate your Notary oath:
1. Get a reporter to take the deposition with the witness.
2. Get an authorized oathgiver to swear in the witness.
3. When the witness is not in the reporter’s presence and there is no notary in the witness’s presence, if local rules allow, suggest that all parties, including the witness, stipulate on the record that the testimony is being given as if under oath.
Does your state have any laws, court rules or guidelines regarding telephone depositions?