| by Heather Duncan, Esq.
As we all know, it is the job of the court reporter to put a deponent under oath or affirmation at the start of a deposition. What is less clear is what form the oath or affirmation should take.
It has been several years since the Court Reporters Board of California advised all California court reporters to omit the phrase “so help you God” from any oath given to a deponent. Even so, the California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) still allows oaths and affirmations to be given as follows:
An oath, affirmation, or declaration in an action or a proceeding, may be administered by obtaining an affirmative response to one of the following questions:
A CHILD OF “TENDER YEARS”
Before administering an oath to a child the court reporter and lawyer should discuss whether a traditional oath is sufficient or if a simpler oath would be preferred. The basic form of an oath given to a child is as follows:
It is then up to the lawyer to establish that the child understands the difference between the truth and a lie.
In an interpreted deposition the court reporter begins by swearing in the interpreter. The Court Reporters Board of California has provided the following suggested language and suggested parenthetical.
The court reporter then swears in the witness as usual with the assistance of the interpreter.
In a videotaped or audio-recorded deposition CCP §2025.340 (j) requires that “the oath shall be administered to the deponent on camera or on the audio recording.”If the deposition is of a doctor or expert and is being videotaped for use at trial, the videographer must be an individual “authorized to administer an oath.”