2025.520(c) – What Happens if the Witness Can’t Get to the Court Reporter’s Office?

There are two methods for reading, correcting and signing deposition transcripts in California.

Method #1:  At the conclusion of a deposition in California, the deposition officer shall send written notice to the deponent and to all parties attending the deposition when the written transcript is available for reading, correcting, and signing, unless the deponent and the attending parties agree on the record to waive signature.  The witness has 30 days following the notice that the deposition is ready for reading, correcting and signing, or a longer or shorter period if the parties agree in writing or on the record.  The original will remain at the court reporter’s office available for the read/sign.

Because of the logistical issues in having a witness go to a court reporter’s office, language was added to the California CCP, which allows for:

Method #2:  2025.520(c):  Alternatively, within this same period, the deponent may change the form or the substance of the answer to any question and may approve or refuse to approve the transcript by means of a letter to the deposition officer signed by the deponent which is mailed by certified or registered mail with return receipt requested.  A copy of that letter shall be sent by first-class mail to all parties attending the deposition.

This alternative language allows the witness to purchase a Certified Copy and then write out any corrections on an errata sheet or in a letter format, which solves the inconvenience of having to drive to a court reporter’s office to read, correct, and sign the original.

When a court reporter is asked to send the original out to the witness or the witness’ counsel for the read/sign, and the argument is presented that it would be too far for the deponent to travel to get to the court reporter’s office, 2025.520(c) can be cited as a method to resolve the issue.

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