Rule 30. Depositions Upon Oral Examination

Rule 30.02. Notice of Examination. General Requirements; Special Notice; Non-Stenographic Recording; Production of Documents and Things; Deposition of Organization; Deposition by Telephone

(1)  A party desiring to take the deposition of any person upon oral examination shall give notice in writing to every other party to the action. The notice shall be served on the other parties at least five days beforehand when the deposition is to be taken in the county in which suit is pending. When the deposition is to be taken out of the county, at least seven days’ notice shall be given. The notice shall state the time and place for taking the deposition and the name and address of each person to be examined, if known, and if the name is not known, a general description sufficient to identify the person or the particular class or group to which the person belongs. If a subpoena duces tecum is to be served on the person to be examined, the designation of the materials to be produced as set forth in the subpoena shall be attached to or included in the notice.

(2) Leave of court is not required for the taking of a deposition by plaintiff if the notice (A) states that the person to be examined is about to go out of the state of Tennessee and will be unavailable for examination unless the person’s deposition is taken before expiration of the 30-day period, and (B) sets forth facts to support the statement. The plaintiff’s attorney shall sign the notice, and this signature constitutes a certification that to the best of the attorney’s knowledge, information, and belief the statement and supporting facts are true. The sanctions provided by Rule 11 are applicable to the certification.

If a party shows that when served with notice under this subdivision (2) the party was unable through the exercise of diligence to obtain counsel to represent him or her at the taking of the deposition, the deposition may not be used against the party.

(3) The court may for cause shown enlarge or shorten the time for taking the deposition.

(4) (A) The parties may stipulate in writing or the court may upon motion order that the testimony at a deposition be recorded by other than stenographic means, in which event the stipulation or order shall designate the manner of recording, preserving, and filing the deposition, and may include other provisions to assure that the recorded testimony will be accurate and trustworthy. A party may arrange to have a stenographic transcription made at the party’s own expense. Any objections under Rule 30.03; any changes made by the witness and his or her signature identifying the deposition as the witness’s own, or the statement of the officer that is required if the witness does not sign, as provided in Rule 30.05; and the certification of the officer required by Rule 30.06 shall be set forth in writing to accompany a deposition recorded by other than stenographic means.

(B) Notwithstanding paragraph (A), any deposition may be recorded by audio-visual means without a stenographic record. Any party may make at the party’s own expense a simultaneous stenographic or audio record of the deposition. Upon a party’s request and own expense, any party is entitled to an audio or audio-visual copy of the audio-visual recording. The audio-visual recording is an official record of the deposition. A transcript prepared by a court reporter is also an official record of the deposition. On motion the court, for good cause, may order the party taking, or who took a deposition by audio-visual recording to furnish, at the party’s expense, a transcript of the deposition. Any lawyer or lawyer’s agent can operate the equipment.

An audio-visual deposition may be used for any purpose and under any circumstances in which a stenographic deposition may be used.

The notice for taking an audio-visual deposition and the subpoena for attendance at that deposition must state that the deposition will be recorded by audio-visual means and whether a simultaneous record will be made.

The following procedure must be observed in recording an audio-visual deposition:

(i) The deposition must begin with an oral or written statement on camera which includes:

  (a) The operator’s name and business address;

  (b) The name and business address of the operator’s employer;

  (c) The date, time and place of the deposition;

  (d) The caption of the case;

  (e) The name of the witness;

  (f) The party on whose behalf the deposition is being taken; and

  (g) Any stipulations by the parties.

(ii) Counsel shall identify themselves on camera.

(iii) The oath must be administered to the witness on camera.

(iv) If the length of a deposition requires the use or more than one recording unit, the end of each unit and the beginning of each succeeding unit must be announced on camera.

(v) At the conclusion of a deposition, a statement must be made on camera that the deposition is concluded. A statement may be made on camera setting forth any stipulations made by counsel concerning the custody of the audio-visual recording and exhibits or other pertinent matters.

(vi) Depositions must be indexed by a visible time recording device that displays hours, minutes and seconds.

(vii) An objection must be made as in the case of stenographic depositions.

(viii) If the court issues an editing order, the original audio-visual recording must not be altered.

(ix) Unless otherwise stipulated by the parties, the original audio-visual recording of a deposition, any copy edited pursuant to an order of the court, and exhibits must be filed forthwith with the clerk of the court.

(5) The notice to a party deponent may be accompanied by a request made in compliance with Rule 34 for the production of documents and tangible things at the taking of the deposition. The procedure of Rule 34 shall apply to the request.

(6) A party may in the party’s notice and in a subpoena name as the deponent a public or private corporation or a partnership or association or governmental agency and describe with reasonable particularity the matters on which examination is requested. In that event, the organization so named shall designate one or more officers, directors, or managing agents, or other persons who consent to testify on its behalf, and may set forth, for each person designated, the matters on which the person will testify. A subpoena shall advise a nonparty organization of its duty to make such a designation. The persons so designated shall testify as to matters known or reasonably available to the organization. This subdivision (6) does not preclude taking a deposition by any other procedure authorized in these rules.

(7) The parties may stipulate in writing or the court may upon motion order that a deposition be taken by telephone. Nothing herein shall preclude any party from being represented in person or by counsel at the site of the deponent. [As amended July 1, 1979, and by orders entered January 31, 1984, effective August 20, 1984, and January 23, 1986, effective August 1, 1986; and by order entered January 18, 1996, effective July 1, 1996.]

Click here for Advisory Commission Comments to Rules 30.01-30.07.


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