California Legislature Makes Significant Changes to Deposition Practice

iStock_000018280216SmallEffective January 1, 2013, new rule under section 2025.290 of California Code of Civil Procedure generally limits the deposition “of any person” to 7 hours of total testimony. The 7 hours does not include examination by the witness’s counsel of record or limits the time to expert depositions.

Difference Between Federal & California State Deposition Rules:

This change makes California discovery similar, though not identical, to federal practice. Rule 30 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure limits depositions to 7 hours in a single day.  The new California statute does not include the one-day limitation.

There are several express exceptions. The limit does not apply in the following circumstances:

  1. If the parties stipulate to exceed the time for a given deposition or a specific case;
  2. To expert witness depositions;
  3. To cases designated as complex cases, except for certain terminally ill plaintiffs;
  4. To employment cases brought by an employee for acts or omissions of the employer; or
  5. To persons most qualified/knowledgeable.

“The court shall allow additional time, beyond any limits imposed by this section, if needed to fairly examine the deponent or if the deponent, another person, or any other circumstance impedes or delays the examination.”  (Subsection a)

The new law does not affect the existing right to bring a motion for protective order, subject to the court’s discretion, to limit a deposition to “protect any party, deponent, or other natural person or organization from unwarranted annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, undue burden, or expense.” (Subsection c)

New parties brought into the case after the deposition is taken may notice another deposition.

This new statute applies to all currently pending state cases. Click here to view AB1875

Contact Direct Legal Support, Inc. today for assistance with your deposition needs. Our firm has the expertise of Issuing  Out-of-State Subpoenas for Depositions and/or Records anywhere in the country.