Need A Witness for Your Court Mandated Telephone Deposition?

Many court judges now permit testimony taken over the phone if a witness cannot be physically present.  Giving a deposition over the phone is a good way to cut costs and save travel time. If you are ill or have a disability, personal appearance may be completely impossible.  Perhaps you live out of state from the court or you cannot take time off of work… whatever your challenge, Terrie at Notary San Rafael can help.

How Does A Telephone Deposition Work?

Notary San Rafael helps with telephone depositionsGenerally, the court sets up a conference call with the witness, and telephone deposition begins with the Notary identifying the individual and an oath is given.  Many jurisdictions permit a notary to swear in the witness because oaths cannot be performed over the phone.  Because Notaries are Officers of the State, we are perfectly suited to step in to assist.  The National Court Reporters Association strongly recommends that every witness be sworn in by a duly authorized oath-giver.

The Notary may -or may not- be required to remain on the line with the individual during the entire call.  The Notary serves as the eyes of the court in a distant location.

Each state has its own rules, and your court and/or your circumstances may demand specific requirements.  Remote depositions, while new and perhaps uncomfortable for some attorneys, are becoming more common as cost savings and convenience out-way any challenges.

Telephone Hearing Tips

  1. Check the applicable rules of civil procedure in the jurisdiction where the cause of action was filed to see if they allow the taking of depositions by telephonic means.
  2. Contact counsel to find out if they will stipulate to the use of deposition by telephonic means. This may be the easiest way to set up your appearance by telephone.
  3. If counsel objects to the taking of depositions by telephonic means, file a motion with the appropriate court requesting that leave be granted to take a telephonic deposition. Most federal courts need only a showing of a “legitimate reason” for the request. Undue burden of traveling great distances often meet the “legitimate reason” test.
  4. Make sure that your testimony is clear and audible to all persons present. Speakerphones can cut other speakers off when someone else starts talking.  Be sensitive to other speakers so that no one is cut off.