Skip to content

Deposition rules–guest post by Daphne Drescher of Drescher ProParalegal

11 April 2012

Today’s guest post comes to us from Daphne Drescher.  Daphne is a virtual litigation paralegal and owner of California-based Drescher ProParalegal. She is also an instructor in the Paralegal Degree Program at Empire College.


Depositions: More Scheduling Rules At Your Fingertips!

As you know by now, I like having rules I use frequently in one place for ready reference. Need to schedule a deposition in a Federal Court jurisdiction? Follow these guidelines:

Party or Non-Party. Service of a deposition notice is enough to require the testimony and production of documents or things of a party to the litigation. However in order  to depose a non-party, a deposition subpoena must be served upon the deponent. (Fed. R. Civ. P. 45(a))

Timing. Federal court rules strongly encourage the parties to complete their Rule 26(f) Discovery Plan prior to the commencement of discovery. So to take a deposition prior to the Rule 26 discovery conference, the parties must either stipulate to early discovery, or must seek permission from the court. (Fed. R. Civ. P. 30(a)(2)(iii))

Number of depositions. A party may not take more than ten depositions without permission from the court. (Fed. R. Civ. P. 30(a)(2)(A)(i))

Duration. Unless stipulated or ordered by the court, each deposition is limited to 1 day of 7 hours. (Fed. R. Civ. P. 30(d)(1))

Local Rules. Check your local court rules. For example, California Northern District LR 30-1 requires conferring with opposing counsel prior to scheduling a deposition.

Notice Contents. A deposition notice must contain the time and location of the deposition, and the deponent’s name and address, and the method for recording the testimony. (Fed. R. Civ. P. 30(b)(1) and (3))

Notice Timing. The deposing party must give “reasonable written notice” to every other party. (Fed. R. Civ. P. 30(b)(1)). While the rule doesn’t specify a notice period, note that Fed. R. Civ. P. 32(a)(5) prohibits the use of a deposition against a party at trial when less than 14 days is given, and the deposition occurs before the time a promptly filed motion for protective order can be heard.

Documents. If the deponent is required to bring documents to the deposition, the noticing party must serve a Rule 34 request to produce documents upon a party deponent, or a subpoena duces tecum upon a non-party deponent, specifying the requested materials. (Fed. R. Civ. P. 30(b)(2))

Location. When a deponent is not a party or an employee of a party, he or she cannot be compelled to travel more than 100 miles from his/her residence or place of employment. (Fed. R. Civ. P. 45(b)(2))

***For more information, visit Daphne’s website at, where you can subscribe to the free Drescher ProParalegal Newsletter full of litigation practice tips and resources for legal support staff.

To learn more about Daphne, go here.

Daphne’s post reprinted with permission–thanks for sharing with us, Daphne!

If interested, please see my other posts on discovery:

What is discovery, and what are interrogatories?

What is a discovery subpoena?

Discovery II: What are requests for disclosure?

Discovery III: What are requests for admissions?

Discovery IV: What are requests for production?

Discovery V: Depositions–What is a deposition on written questions, or DWQ?

Discovery top ten fundamentals

Sami K. Hartsfield, ACP is a senior paralegal at a consumer law firm and freelance writer based in Houston, Texas. She is a NALA Advanced Certified Paralegal, and has earned six specialty certifications since 2007: Discovery; Trial Practice; Contracts Management; Social Security Disability Law; and Entity & Individual Medical Liability. She is also WestlawNext certified. Sami has worked as a law firm Webmaster, law firm social media marketer, and a ghostwriter for personal injury law firms. She holds a degree in paralegal studies with a 4.0 GPA and a bachelor of science degree in political science, graduating summa cum laude. Sami interned with Texas’ 14th Court of Appeals under Chief Justice Adele Hedges, and completed the University of Houston Law Center’s Summer 2008 Prelaw Institute with a 4.0. You can find her on Facebook and e-mail her with questions, comments, or ideas at


LegallyBlog® on Facebook

Sami Hartsfield on LinkedIn

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: