Effective January 1, 2013, California depositions will be limited to seven (7) hours. The time limit applies to examination by all counsel, other than the witness’ counsel of record. The new rule is set forth in Code of Civil Procedure section 2025.290.
Certain types of witnesses are exempt. The time limit does not apply to expert depositions, or to depositions of persons designated most qualified to testify (“Person Most Knowledgeable”) under Code of Civil Procedure section 2025.230.
Certain types of cases are exempt. The time limit does not apply to complex civil cases (but if there exists significant doubt a deponent will survive beyond six (6) months, the time limit is extended to two days of no more than seven hours each). The time limit does not apply to cases brought by an employee or applicant for employment against an employer for acts or omissions relating to an employment relationship.
Section 2025.290 provides the court shall allow additional time if needed to fairly examine the deponent, or if the deponent, another person, or any other circumstance impedes or delays the examination. The parties may stipulate the time limit does not apply to any particular deposition, or to the entire proceeding. Any party who appears in an action after a deposition has concluded may notice a deposition of the previously deposed witnesses.
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