| by Heather Duncan, Esq.
Due to recent discussions regarding review and delivery of original deposition transcripts, this month’s Network News provides verbatim sections of the California Code of Civil Procedure and Federal Rules of Civil Procedure that address the handling of the original transcripts following completion of deponent testimony.
Depositions taken in cases filed in California state court are controlled by the California Code of Civil Procedure (“CCP”).
CCP 2025.520 provides:
- If the deposition testimony is stenographically recorded, the deposition officer shall send written notice to the deponent and all parties attending the deposition when the original transcript for each session of the deposition is available for reading, correcting, and signing, unless the deponent and the attending parties agree on the record that the reading, correcting, and signing of a transcript of the testimony will take place after the entire deposition has been concluded or at some other specific time.
- For 30 days following each notice under subdivision (a), unless the attending parties and the deponent agree on the record or otherwise in writing to a longer or shorter time period, the deponent may change the form or the substance of the answer to a question and may either approve the transcript of the deposition by signing it or refuse to approve the transcript by not signing it.
- Alternatively, within this same period, the deponent may change the form or the substance of the answer to any question and may approve or refuse to approve the transcript by means of a letter to the deposition officer signed by the deponent which is mailed by certified mail with return receipt requested. A copy of that letter shall be sent by first-class mail to all parties attending the deposition.
CCP 2025.550 provides:
- The certified transcript of a deposition shall not be filed with the court. Instead, the deposition officer shall securely seal that transcript in an envelope or package endorsed with the title of the action and marked: “Deposition of (here insert name of deponent),” and shall promptly transmit it to the attorney for the party who noticed the deposition. The attorney shall store it under conditions that will protect it against loss, destruction, or tampering.
Depositions taken in federal cases are controlled by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (“FRCP”).
FRCP 30(e) provides:
- On request by the deponent or a party before the deposition is completed, the deponent must be allowed 30 days after being notified by the officer that the transcript or recording is available in which:
- To review the transcript or recording; and
- If there are changes in form or substance, to sign a statement listing the changes and the reasons for making them.
FRCP 30(f)(1) provides:
The officer must certify in writing that the witness was duly sworn and that the deposition accurately reflects the witness’ testimony. The certificate must accompany the record of the deposition. Unless the court orders otherwise, the officer must seal the deposition in an envelope or package bearing the title of the action marked “Deposition of [witness name]” and must promptly send it to the attorney who arranged for the transcript or recording. The attorney must store it under conditions that will protect it against loss, destruction, tampering, or deterioration.
Following the provisions of either the California Code of Civil Procedure or the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure helps ensure the integrity of the original transcript pending its use at trial.