Filing the deposition with court - CA CCP

CFR United States Department of Labor OSHA Deposition Guidelines

Reading through the Code of Federal Regulations, OSHA guidelines regarding depositions, there are many differences from Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30 when it comes to the court reporter and videographer. The provisions are set out as follows:

2200.56(a) General. Deposition of parties, intervenors, or witnesses shall be allowed only by agreement of all parties, or on order of the Commission or Judge following the filing of a motion of a party stating good and just reasons.  All depositions shall be before an officer authorized to administer oaths and affirmations at the place of examination.  The deposition shall be taken in accordance with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, particularly Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30.

2200.56(b) When to file. A motion to take a deposition may be filed after the filing of the first responsive pleading or motion that delays the filing of an answer, such as a motion to strike.

2200.56(c) Notice of taking. Any depositions allowed by the Commission or Judge may be taken 10 days written notice to the other party or parties.  The 10-day notice requirement may be waived by the parties.

2200.56(d) Expenses. Expenses for a court reporter and the preparing and serving of depositions shall be borne by the party at whose instance the deposition is taken.

2200.56(e) Use of depositions. Depositions taken under this rule may be used for discovery, to contradict or impeach the testimony of a deponent as a witness, or for any other purpose permitted by the Federal Rules of Evidence and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, particularly Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 32.

2200.56(f) Excerpts from depositions to be offered at hearing. Except when used for purposes of impeachment, at least 5 working days prior to the hearing, the parties or counsel shall furnish to the Judge and all opposing counsel the excerpts from depositions (by page and line number) which they expect to introduce at the hearing.  Four working days thereafter, the adverse party or counsel for the adverse party shall furnish to the Judge and all opposing parties or counsel additional excerpts from the depositions (by page and line number) which they expect to be read pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 32(a)(4), as well as any objections (by page and line number) to opposing party’s or counsel’s depositions.  With reasonable notice to the Judge and all parties or counsel, other excerpts may be read.

2200.56(g)(1) Telephone depositions may be conducted pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30(b)(4)

2200.56(g)(2) If a party objects to a telephone deposition, he shall make known his objections at least 5 days prior to the taking of the deposition. If the objection is not resolved by the parties or the Judge before the scheduled deposition date, the deposition shall be stayed pending resolution of the dispute.

2200.56(h) Video depositions. By indicating in its notice of a deposition that it wishes to record the deposition by videotape (and identifying the proposed videotape operator), a party shall be deemed to have moved for such an order under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30(b)(3).  Unless an objection is filed and served within 10 days after such notice is received, the Judge shall be deemed to have granted the motion pursuant to the following terms and conditions:

Stenographic recording. The videotaped deposition shall be simultaneously recorded stenographically by a qualified court reporter.  The court reporter shall administer the oath or affirmation to the deponents on camera.  The written transcript by the court reporter shall constitute the official record of the deposition for purposes of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30(e)(submission to witness).

2200.56(h)(2) Cost.  The noticing party shall bear the expense of both the videotaping and the stenographic recording.  Any party may at its own expense obtain a copy of the videotape and the stenographic transcript.

2200.56(h)(3) Video operator. The operator(s) of the videotape recording equipment shall be subject to the provisions of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 28(c). At the commencement of the deposition the operator(s) shall swear or affirm to record the proceedings fairly and accurately.

2200.56(h)(4) Attendance. Each witness, attorney, and other person attending the deposition shall be identified on camera at the commencement of the deposition.  Thereafter, only the deponent (and demonstrative materials used during the deposition) will be videotaped.  Identification on camera of each witness, attorney, and other person attending the deposition may be waived by the attorney for the parties.

2200.56(h)(5) Standards. The deposition shall be conducted in a manner to replicate, to the extent feasible, the presentation of evidence at a hearing.  Unless physically incapacitated, the deponent shall be seated at a table or in a witness box except when reviewing or presenting demonstrative materials for which a change in position is needed.  To the extent practicable, the deposition shall be conducted in a neutral setting, against a solid background, with only such lighting as is required for accurate video recording.  Lighting, camera angle, lens setting, and field of view will be changed only as necessary to record accurately the natural body movements of the deponent or to portray exhibits and materials used during the deposition.  Sound levels will be altered only as necessary to record satisfactorily the voices of counsel and the deponent. Eating and smoking by deponents or counsel during the deposition will not be permitted.

2200.56(h)(6) Interruptions. Videotape recording will be suspended during all “off the record” discussions.

A couple of the more interesting provisions require the videographer to be sworn in to video fairly and accurately, and no eating or smoking is permissible at the deposition.

Kramm Court Reporters & Legal Video has the court reporters and videographers that are familiar with the rules and are happy to answer any questions you might have about your next deposition.  Here is a link to more information about Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 30(e) regarding reading/signing depositions.

 

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Deposition and Arbitration conference room

CALIFORNIA OFFICIAL COURT REPORTERS SHALL DELIVER PDF COURT TRANSCRIPTS

AB 1450 was approved by Governor Brown and filed with the Secretary of State on October 6, 2017.  What does this mean for attorneys and judges using court transcripts?

The law prior to October 2017 would authorize a court, party, or other person entitled to a transcript to request that it be delivered in computer-readable form, except as specified.

AB 1450 would instead require an official reporter or official reporter pro tempore to deliver a transcript in electronic form, in compliance with the California Rules of Court, to any court, party, or person entitled to the transcript, as specified, unless among other things, the party or person requests the transcript in paper form.  The bill would provide that an official reporter or official reporter pro tempore is not required to use a specific vendor, technology, or software to comply with this requirement unless he or she agrees with the court, party, or person entitled to the transcript to use a specific vendor, technology, or software.
This California Code of Civil Procedure now reads as follows:

Section 271.  (a) An official reporter or official reporter pro tempore shall deliver a transcript in electronic form, in compliance with the California Rules of Court, to any court, party, or person entitled to the transcript, unless any of the following apply:

(1) The party or person entitled to the transcript requests the reporter’s transcript in paper form.

(2) Prior to January 1, 2023, the court lacks the technical ability to use or store a transcript in electronic form pursuant to this section and provides advance notice of this fact to the official reporter or official reporter pro tempore.

(3) Prior to January 1, 2023, the official reporter or official reporter pro tempore lacks the technical ability to deliver a transcript in electronic form pursuant to this section and provides advance notice of this fact to the court, party, or person entitled to the transcript.

(b) If a paper transcript is delivered in lieu of an electronic transcript described in subdivision (a), within 120 days of the official reporter or official reporter pro tempore shall provide, upon request, a copy of the original transcript in full text-searchable portable document format (PDF) if the proceedings were produced with computer-aided transcription equipment.  The copy of the original transcript in full text-searchable PDF format shall not be deemed to be the original transcript.

(c) Nothing in this section changes any requirement set forth in Section 69950 or 69954 of the Government Code, regardless of whether a transcript is delivered in electronic or paper form.

(d) Except as provided in subdivision (b), an electronic transcript delivered in accordance with this section shall be deemed to be an original transcript for all purposes, including any obligation of an attorney to maintain or deliver a file to a client.

(e) An electronic transcript shall comply with any format requirement imposed pursuant to subdivision (a).  However, an official reporter or official reporter pro tempore shall not be required to use a specific vendor, technology, or software to comply with this section, unless the official reporter or official reporter pro tempore agrees with the court, party, or person entitled to the transcript to use a specific vendor, technology, or software.  Absent that agreement, an official reporter or official reporter pro tempore may select the vendor, technology, and software to comply with this section and the California Rules of Court.  In adopting transcript format requirements for the California Rules of Court, consideration shall be given on a technology-neutral basis to the availability of relevant vendors of transcript products, technologies, and software.

(f) After January 1, 2023, if new or updated rule of court format requirements for electronic transcripts necessitate a significant change in equipment or software owned by official reporters or official reporters pro tempore, the official reporters and official reporters pro tempore shall be given no less than one year to comply with the format requirements.  If the change is necessary to address a security issue, then a reasonable time shall be given to comply with the new format requirements.

All court reporters who work with Kramm Court Reporting use computer-aided transcription software and can provide text-searchable PDF transcripts for court or depositions.

 

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Arbitration conference room - Kramm Court Reporting

11 TASKS THAT PARALEGALS CAN DELEGATE TO COURT REPORTING FIRM

Paralegals oftentimes are the engine that keeps a law firm running.  They are incredibly efficient with time, resources, and know how to delegate
important tasks that need to be done correctly in an expedited manner.  Kramm Court Reporting looks for opportunities to support our paralegal clients.

Below are 11 of the most common tasks that paralegals can rely on a court reporting firm to complete:

1. Find and reserve a conference room anywhere worldwide

2. Set up interpreters

3. Recommend process servers in the area to process deposition subpoenas

4. Provide a common calendar for parties including location, witness name, time, noticing party

5. Organize exhibits and pre-assign exhibit numbers for cases with multi-track depositions

6. Arrange for videographers and the syncing of transcripts

7. Provide suggested language for notices to include video and real-time transcription

8. Archive errata sheets of witnesses’ changes and signature

9. Set up mobile videoconference (MVC) depositions/trial testimony worldwide

10. Set up teleconference depositions with access numbers supplied to all parties

11. Coordinate standing orders of rough drafts, real-time with iPads, synced transcripts, et cetera

It is a pleasure to support our clients and help paralegals coordinate deposition services.  If you would like to learn more about setting up
a mobile videoconference or best practices for teleconference depositions, please read our articles found below or contact me, Rosalie@kramm.com.

Tricks and Tips for Telephonic Depositions

Five Tips for Successful International Mobile Videoconference Depositions

How Paralegals and Legal Secretaries Can Benefit From Having Exhibits in the Cloud

Tips for Videoconferencing Depositions and Trial Testimony

Sample Notice Language for Video and Real-Time Depositions

 

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Deposition Arbitration Room

ATTORNEYS – 8 ADMONITIONS FOR DEPOSITIONS

As a court reporter, I have sat through thousands of depositions and heard thousands of variances on the admonitions attorneys give the witness at the beginning of a deposition.  Many attorneys have a checklist that they use so as to not forget any particular admonition.  These eight admonitions are the most common:
1. All testimony is under oath just as if the witness were testifying in a court of law.  Penalty of perjury laws apply.

2. Answers need to be audible, no shakes of the head, shoulder shrugs.  “Uh-huh” and “huh-huh” are difficult to interpret in a written form.

3. Witnesses may estimate, should not guess.  (Example:  How much change is in my pocket? = Guess.  How much change is in your pocket? = Estimate)

4. Everything that is said is being taken down by the court reporter verbatim, unless everyone agrees to go off the record.

5. You will have an opportunity to read/sign the deposition transcript and make corrections you believe are necessary.

6. Allow question and any objections to be stated before you speak.  The court reporter cannot take down more than one person speaking at the same time.  Otherwise, the record will be jumbled, and the questions and answers will be disjointed.   Pause before answering so counsel have a chance to object to a question.

7. Objections are for the record.  Unless your counsel instructs you not to answer, you are to answer.  The judge will later decide what questions and answers will be allowed in future proceedings.

8. Breaks are allowed.

________________________________________________________________________________

Admonitions that might bring objections or waive Federal Code provision:

1. You must answer a question that is pending before being allowed to take a break.

2. You will have a chance later to read/sign transcript; but if changes are made, and they are substantive, that can reflect poorly at trial on your being truthful while at the deposition.  (Court reporters are taught that if this admonition is given in a deposition that falls within the Federal Rules, Rule 30 comes into play, and the witness will have the right to read/sign.)

In another related article, we discuss Witnesses Unintentionally Waive Right to Read/Sign Under Federal Rules.

 

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Deposition Arbitration Room

TIPS FOR TELEPHONIC DEPOSITIONS FOR ATTORNEYS & COURT REPORTERS

Everyone is looking for opportunities to save costs these days in litigation. Many attorneys are choosing to take depositions telephonically so as to not incur travel costs and to save travel time.  Here are some ideas on how to make the telephonic deposition go smoothly.

  1. Have the court reporter with the witness. The reporter is able to swear in the witness and hear every word. As everyone knows, with teleconferences, if two people speak at the same time or there is any type of line interference, it is hard to hear or understand. Having the reporter with the witness ensures a better record.
  2. Advice to court reporters (especially if there are multiple people on the line): Rather than writing down each person’s information, including address and phone number(s), just get the attorney’s full name and website. It is much easier to look up the attorneys and create your appearance page(s) from a website than from scribbling down information over a phone.
  3. Court reporters, speak up if you are not understanding something, can’t hear, or don’t know who is speaking. Before the deposition starts, make a statement, for example, “Please identify yourself before you speak. There are multiple voices, and it is difficult to differentiate between them.” If someone starts speaking, and you are not sure who it is, you may interrupt with, “Excuse me. Who is speaking?” After a while, people will get the hang of it.
  4. Attorneys, if your court reporter interrupts, as discussed above, please be patient and understanding. They are not, in any way, trying to disrupt you. They are only trying to do produce the best record they can of the deposition.
  5. Court reporters, if possible, get a service list before the deposition begins and start inputting your appearance page or get a copy and check off names. You will need to know who the different participants represent. Once again, it is often difficult to get that kind of information with spellings over the phone.
  6. Court reporters, if the firm you are working with agrees and/or if you don’t mind giving out your personal email, give the participants your email address and ask the participants to email you who they represent.
  7. Be confident, court reporter. Nobody enjoys doing a telephonic deposition (or at least most people don’t). If you are polite, organized, and ready for action, your day may turn out to be one of the best ever!

In another related article, we discuss What Attorneys Need to Know When Using a Realtime Court Reporter.

 

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Avoid Cyber Attacks

Law Firms Beware – Ransomware: 9 Tips to Avoid Cyber Attack

Upon listening to a panel of cybersecurity experts, I came to the conclusion that law firms and court reporting firms are vulnerable to the most prevalent cyber attack, ransomware.  Ransomware is defined as “a type of malicious software that is designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid.” Many times, the currency used to pay the ransom is Bitcoin.

Advice given by the experts includes these 9 tips to avoid a ransomware cyber attack:

1. Regularly update your Windows, Mac, Linus software especially when the update is security related.

2. Install antivirus software and keep it up-to-date to block emerging malware.

3. Be wary of suspicious emails and pop-ups.  What is suspicious?

  • Look at email address of the sender to see if it is coming from a legitimate email.
  • Look for obvious typos and grammatical errors in the body of the email.
  • Hover over hyperlinks and see if it would direct you to a suspicious web page.
  • Banks, doctors, the IRS will never ask you to send sensitive information like your SS number.

4. Often pop-ups windows that advertise software products that remove malware have ransomware in the pop-up ready to attack.  Don’t click through to learn more or download these products.

5. If you are a victim of ransomware, immediately disconnect your computer from the internet, and then report the crime to law enforcement.  Seek help from a technology professional who specializes in data recovery to see what your options might be.

6. Look into purchasing cybersecurity insurance.

7. If you are storing your data offsite with a third-party vendor (colo site), ask them if they have cybersecurity insurance.  (The answer should be yes.)  Ask your vendor to add your firm as an additional insured on the policy.

8. Educate your personnel on not opening suspicious emails or pop-ups, “But the dancing bunny was so cute… I clicked on it.”

9. Don’t allow personnel to check personal email from their workstation or have their smart phone, personal computer, or other devices connected to their workstation.

Along with following these above steps in our offices, Kramm Court Reporting has taken steps to protect sensitive data that we have online including having our Case 24/7 repository be SSA 16 compliant and having our backup locations encrypted over VPNs, and SSL certificates are used. If you are one of our clients, you can be assured that we have proactively done and continue to do everything we can to protect your information from these attacks.

In another related article, we discuss How Paralegals + Legal Assistants Can Benefit from Court Reporting Technology in the Cloud.

 

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Court Reporters - Be Careful with Windows 10 Updates

Court Reporters – WARNING – Windows 10 Updates

One of the great court reporters we work with who is on StenoCat had a HORRIBLE experience setting up in court this week and sent the following alert:

“New Windows update could possibly wreak havoc on your computer settings.

“My computer updated last night, and this morning all my drivers were erased, my Bluetooth was disabled, my software key would not work, and all my COM ports were missing from my Device Manager.

“Also, because that wasn’t enough, my SD card on my writer was “bad” and would not save any new jobs so writing on it and transferring the notes to the computer later was not an option.

“Obviously my writer issue had nothing to do with the Windows update, but it happened all on the same day. Complete system fail.

“While our office staff scrambled to find another reporter to cover my job, I re-loaded my software, my drivers, and somehow managed to get it working in 20 minutes.  I had to write without a dictionary so my tran rate was a big fat zero, and my screen was all red.

“I’ve now reconfigured everything and all is well.

“After you install this latest update, set everything up and test it before you go to a job.  It was probably just a weird thing on my end, but it was super stressful and I want to save you all from living this nightmare.”

_________________________________________________________________________________

From my experience, the best way to handle this problem is to turn off Windows updates.  This is the process according to my Google search:

1.  Click Computer Configuration.

2. Click Policies

3. Click Administrative Templates

4. Click Windows Component

5. Click Windows Update

6. Double click Turn off the upgrade to the latest version of Windows through Windows Update

7.  Click Enable.

Microsoft has made it extremely difficult to stop the updates in Windows 10.  If you can choose to never install updates or you decide when and if you wish to install an update, that is your best bet, in my opinion.

 

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Deposition Arbitration Room

How Paralegals + Legal Assistants Can Benefit from Court Reporting Technology in the Cloud

Having worked with many law firms throughout my career in the court reporting industry, I have found that leveraging technology is a powerful way to save a tremendous amount of time and create efficiencies. Using a cloud-based, cyber secure calendaring system and repository allows 24/7/365 access to vital, time sensitive information and documents.

The following services are ways paralegals, legal assistants, and attorneys can utilize cloud-based technology:

1.  Online repository that houses transcripts and exhibits/notices/correspondence for all of your law firm’s cases. For security purposes, check to ensure the repository is SSA 16 compliant as well as the backup locations offsite are encrypted over VPNs and SSL certificates are used.

2.  Mobile app that gives the same access to the transcripts/exhibits/correspondence with the same cyber secure benefits mentioned in Item 1.

3.  Online calendar that shows all of your calendared hearings, depositions, and trials. You do not have to worry whether or not a matter is on the court reporting company’s calendar or if the time/location are correct. Just go online and check.

4.  The calendar would also be available on a mobile app and includes Mapquest directions.

5.  Invoices and Statements: You can check and see if an invoice was paid by logging in or checking the mobile app.

For more information or to learn about our cloud-based technology (Case 24/7), please call us at 800.939.0080.  We would love to work with you.

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Woman-Owned Business Enterprise Certification

Attorneys Marketing: California Woman-Owned Business Enterprise (WOBE)

Kramm & Associates, Inc., dba Kramm Court Reporting, has been recertified as a Woman-Owned Business Enterprise (WOBE). The purpose of the certification is to assist law firms and attorneys to win contracts by having their court reporting vendor (Kramm) have the SMBE certification.

In doing research in how to assist our clients with their marketing objectives, I came across the following article in Inc. Magazine:

Corporations, the federal government, and state agencies all want to do business with minority-owned companies. The Department of Transportation, for example, requires that recipients of its funding award a percentage of contracts to minority-owned businesses and many large companies have goals for buying from minority-owned suppliers.

“The reason for such mandates is twofold. First, contracting with minority-owned businesses is important to customers: ‘Corporate America understands that you cannot expect minorities to buy things when you haven’t done business with minorities,’ says Steven Sims, the vice president of the National Minority Supplier Development Council. Second, it’s responsible: ‘It’s important because we have an obligation in government to ensure that all firms in our state have an opportunity to participate in contracts that are paid for with tax dollars,’ says Luwanda Jenkins, the special secretary of minority affairs for Maryland.

“To meet their objectives, private and public sector firms search for minority-owned suppliers through programs that have formal certification processes. If you’re not certified, you can miss out on business ranging from a marketing opportunity to reduced-competition access to a public contract.” Sarah Kessler – Inc. Magazine

Please contact us today if you would like us to send you our WOBE certification for your next government RFP.

 

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Court reporters, paralegals, legal assistants find time.

Legal Assistants & Paralegals: Turning a Word doc into a Fillable PDF

Paralegals, legal secretaries and others in administrative positions in the legal field deal with many different types of documents.

As a court reporter and owner of a court reporting firm, my staff and I certainly have to deal with our fair share of documents.

Filling out documents and forms sure can be time consuming!

Receiving a Word document that requires multiple blank lines to be filled in can be extremely time consuming.
It is a waste of time to have to print it out, handwrite in the information, scan the document, name it, save it somewhere, and then send it back to the sender.

Looking for a solution, I found the following steps that allows us to reformat a Word document to a fillable PDF and thought it might be helpful if I shared this with you. These steps involve using Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat.

1.  Open the Word document.
2.  Go to “FILE” and then choose “Save as Adobe PDF”. If you do not see this option, choose “PRINT.”  Make sure the printer selected is “ADOBE PDF.”  Click print.
3.  Word will ask you where to save the file.  Choose your desktop or where you want to find the file.
4.  Your computer will create a PDF file, and it will open automatically in Adobe Acrobat editing.
5.  At this point your document is a basic PDF.  Click on “TOOLS.”  Then click “FORMS.”  Then click “CREATE.”
6.  Acrobat will ask which document. Choose “Use an existing file.”  Click “NEXT.”
7.  On the next screen choose “Use the current document.”
8.  Acrobat will try to detect the fillable fields.  You might have to edit some of fields manually.
Acrobat might think decorative lines are to be fillable fields.
9.  If you see a form field that you don’t want to be fillable, click on it.  It will highlight in
blue.  Press the “DELETE” button on your keyboard.  You aren’t deleting the line on your form, just
the fillable field Acrobat set incorrectly.
10.  When you think your form is ready, click the “PREVIEW” button and proof that the fillables are correct.
11.  If you want to make additional edits, click on “Edit” (where “Preview” had been).  You will return to
the form editor.
12.  When you are satisfied with your form, use the “SAVE AS” feature and save the form wherever you wish.

Kramm Court Reporting salutes legal secretaries, legal administrators, and paralegals and we will be posting more articles in the future that we believe will be helpful to you.

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