Court reporters have an obligation to know the rules that pertain to transcribing deposition testimony and the procedure for reading and signing/waiving signature. What happens to the original? When is a penalty of perjury clause appropriate or just a signature line? Does the signature require notarization?
Many states have set out their own rules, and most states follow the federal rules.
But what happens when a court reporter reports a deposition under the rules of the International Trade Commission?
Reading, “A Lawyer’s Guide to Section 337,” by Tom Schaumberg, I found the following information:
No. 1 – The deposition must be taken before a person who is authorized to administer oaths by the laws of the United States of America or of the place where the deposition is held.
No. 2 – After a deponent is under oath, the opposing counsel begins its examination, at a minimum, stenographically
No. 3 – After the deposition is finished, the stenographer presents to the deponent a deposition transcript so that the latter may sign it.
No. 4 – The court reporter is required to note on the record that the witness was sworn in the stenographer’s presence and the transcript presented is a true record of the testimony of the deponent.
No. 5 – Each party receives a copy of the transcript, which is also to be served promptly to the Staff Attorney by the party who requested the deposition.
No. 6 – Unlike the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Commission Rules do not set forth a process for reviewing and changing a deposition transcript.
No. 7 – The only Commission Rule that pertains to the completion and return of deposition transcripts is 210.28(i)(4)
Rule 210.28(i)(4): “Errors and irregularities in the manner in which the testimony is transcribed or the deposition prepared, signed, certified, sealed, indorsed, transmitted, served, or otherwise dealt with by the person before whom it is taken are waived unless a motion to suppress the deposition or some part thereof is made with reasonable promptness after such defect is, or with due diligence might have been, ascertained.”
No. 8 – Rule 210.28(i)(4) almost verbatim tracks Federal Rule 32(d)(4).
Schaumberg opines, “Due to the lack of guidance by the Commission Rules with regard to deposition review by the witness, the ITC has little choice but to follow the precedent set in federal courts. Rule 30(e) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure explains the process for deposition review by the deposed witness.”
Rule 30(e): If requested by the deponent or a party before completion of the deposition, the witness shall have 30 days in which to review the transcript, and if there are any changes in form or substance, to sign a statement reciting such changes and the reasons given by the deponent for giving them.”
The International Trade Commission, in my opinion, does not set forth clear rules in Section 337 regarding the handling of the deposition transcript when it comes to reading/signing. I believe following Rule 30(e) and/or having all parties make a statement on the record as to an agreement of what to do with the original and the handling, timing of a read/sign for an International Trade Commission deposition is the court reporter’s best practice.