I had this issue today.  Thank goodness it doesn't happen all that frequently.  The attorneys were fighting about going on the record or us going off.  The opposing counsel demanded of the videographer and myself to go off the record. 

The videographer said, "We need agreement of both counsel to go off the record."  The attorney proceeded to threaten both of us with sanctions.  Then he looked at me and said, "Are you going to go off the record?"  I said, "No."   He was beyond pissed.  He told both myself and the videographer he's seeking sanctions against both of us.  I wanted to say, "Well, good luck with that."

I really hate it when attorneys put us in this situation. 

For all you new reporters out there in California, you do not go off the record unless you have agreement from both counsel.  Remember that.  Do not let these attorneys threaten and intimidate you.  



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Sanctions or not, state CSR or not, state licensing requirement or not, NCRA advisory opinion or not, you can never go wrong with this advice!  I followed it myself TODAY.

Agreed!  My cousin is a reporter, too, and she's been doing it as long as I have....forever.  A long time ago the attorneys were arguing about the same thing, going off, staying on.  Well, this crazy attorney was so mad that my cousin was not going off, he actually slammed her hands down on her keys so she couldn't write!  Of course she stopped writing, packed up her stuff and left!  Always stay on!  But in her case, I don't blame her for leaving.  He's lucky she didn't press charges! 

I didn't know if it was just a California rule or an everywhere rule.  Good to know it's everywhere. 

"Without agreement from everybody, we stay on the record.  No way am I going off without everybody's agreement.  I'm not the judge here.  Stuff can be deleted but can never be recreated."  Jerks.

So did he walk out?  What happened and what blurb do you put in after this all happens?

Once his client walked out, both counsel agreed to go off the record and it was over.  I just hate it when I'm put in that position where everyone is looking at me as to what I'm going to do.  I was steadfast in my decision, however.  Doubt he'll really bring charges. 

I had a psycho attorney yank my cables out of my writer and computer in a similar situation years ago.  That ended the deposition.  

OMG!!  That is so not okay.  You must have been mortified.

I didn't go back to his office for several years.  I know crazy when I see it.  I don't need drama.

I'd think you could press charges for something like that, if you wanted too...

Good advice, Kelli.  I had this happen early in my career, although not to this level of crazy, and a couple times throughout the years.  I suppose even if the hiring attorney leaves the depo and the copy attorney continues on, we still bill the hiring attorney for the Original on the portion where he wasn't there.  

I would think so.  But once the attorney leaves the room, things come to an end pretty quickly in my experience.


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