I am the plaintiff in a civil case in the California Northern District Court and I am scheduled to be deposed by the defendants counsel this week. I notified the defendants and their lawyers that I intended to bring a personal audio recording device to my deposition, per FRCP 30(b)(3)(B), primarily because the expenses of obtaining certified copies of the transcripts may be unfeasible.
The defendants have objected on the grounds that "the method of recording must be a certified service" (citing Hash v. Lee, No. C 08-3729 MMC PR which I cannot find any relevant content for) and are telling me not to bring any personal recording device with me to my deposition.
The FRCP does not say anything about certification being necessary for an additional method of recording; I am not trying to enter this recording into official evidence, but want it as a reference for my own use.
Am I misunderstanding the FRCP on this issue?
You will not have to obtain a certified copy as you can require at the end of the deposition that the defendants attorney/defendants provide you with the original for you to review and sign during which time you can make an unofficial copy.
the other side is correct.
Who must record is in Rule 30(c) (1)...
Your audio would be worthless as a recording of the deposition and would be inadmissible.
I agree with my colleagues. Part of the confusion may be you are in State Court and looking up Federal Court rules. Also, I would also urge you to discuss your case in private with an attorney. Good luck.
My disclaimer is simply that Avvo already has an adequate disclaimer.
I think you clearly have the better argument.
There's a lot of case law interpreting FRCP 30(b)(3)(B). As long as the deposition is being stenographically transcribed by a certified court reporter -- which it will be since the defendants noticed the deposition -- then I see nothing in the rules or case law that permits them to refuse to allow you to tape record your deposition. Pursuant to the Rule, you've already put them on notice of your intent to record. It's up to them to move for a protective order if they believe your recording would interfer with the deposition. They cannot physically stop you from recording the deposition and if they refuse to continue then they'll have to explain why to the judge.
That being said, your recording won't be admissible. You'll have to buy a certified transcript.
As for Hash v. Lee, the judge denied an inmate's request for prison officials to provide him with a tape recorder so he record all further depositions in the prison where they would be held. The judge denied his request because [like you] he had the right under FRCP 30(e) to review and correct any inacccuracies in the transcript. That's unsound reasoning in my opinion and, in any event, it's NOT binding precedent in any other case. The defendants in your case must allow you access to the transcript but they do not have to provide you with your own free copy. Seems to me having your own recording on hand to compare to that transcript is good reason to make the recording.
The above response is general information ONLY and is not legal advice, does not form an attorney-client relationship, and should NOT be relied upon to take or refrain from taking any action. I am not your attorney. You should seek the advice of competent counsel before taking any action related to your inquiry.
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