Welcome to CSR Nation
Last week opposing counsel (from California) asked noticing attorney (from CA) if the court reporter he intended to use for the next upcoming witness was notarized to administer oaths in Maryland. Noticing attorney said that he would be using me as the court reporter. Of course I am certified in CA to administer oaths. The case is filed in CA. Opposing attorney began to raise a stink that the court reporter or a notary may have to be present in MD to swear in the witness since she will be flying back to MD to be with the witness as we take a telephonic depo.
According to CAL CCP 2093:
"(B)(1)Every shorthand reporter certified pursuant to Article 3 of Chapter 13 of Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code has the power to administer oaths or affirmations and may perform the duties of the deposition officer pursuant to Chapter 9 of Title 4.
(2)This subdivision shall also apply to depositions taken by telephone or other remote electronic means as specified in Chapter 2" ...
According to NCRA:
"Generally, for those states with rules or guidance on telephonic depositions, the reporter must be in the presence of the witness in order to swear in the witness. If the reporter is not with the witness, a notary must be in his or her presence to administer the oath."
I've read other forums that suggested to have counsel agree that the witness will be truthfully answering questions.
What might need to be done to cover myself?
It's best to have someone knowledgeable in CA laws answer your questions, as CA seems to operate differently from other states.
That is presuming that the deposition is taking place in the state of CA. The MD atty is familiar with the Notary Public Laws of his state, MD, which require the witness to be in the presence of the court reporter administering the oath. If the MD is in the presence of the witness, an atty is permitted to administer the oath, but I don't know if he himself may do so, since he is involved in the case.
If the witness is in his office in MD, the MD atty may have a notary public in his office, who is also in the presence of the witness, administer the oath.
It's important. I commend him.
But I'd be sure to check with someone who knows the CA laws if your atty is set on your swearing in a witness who is not in your presence. Again, in most states, it's not up to the attorneys to stipulate to that.
When I have done telephonic depositions, I was always present with the witness. I am also in California, but I always thought the reporter had to be in the same room as the witness, not the questioning attorney.