Deposition Transcripts - Who Can Get What?

| by Heather Duncan, Esq.

Unlike most trial transcripts, a deposition transcript and the audio or video of deposition testimony are not public records. All parties to a case in which a deposition is taken, as well as a deponent are entitled to obtain a copy of a deposition transcript. However, there are limitations on a third party’s right to obtain a certified copy from the court reporter. 

If all parties and the deponent have stipulated, or there has been a court order, a certified deposition transcript may be provided to a third party by the court reporter pursuant to the terms outlined in the order or stipulation.

Other methods of obtaining transcripts and videos may apply to cases filed in jurisdictions outside of the California state courts. 

For cases filed in California state courts, absent a court order or stipulation of all parties and the deponent, a request for a copy of a deposition transcript made by a non-party requires a 30-day notice, allowing parties the time to seek a protective order under CCP 2025.570 (b). If a protective order is not served on the deposition officer, the third party is entitled to purchase a certified copy of the transcript.

It should be noted that a party to a “related lawsuit” and a non-party witness requesting a transcript other than the witness’ own deposition testimony, are all considered “non-parties” for the purpose of obtaining a deposition transcript.

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