I have been assigned a job that is entitled Deposition by Written Questions.

Does anyone know what this is and/or give me some information about what is expected of me? I have never heard of this and the firm I am doing it for doesn't have a clue.

I have a list of questions which have blank lines underneath as if someone is supposed to write in the answer, similar to interrogatories.

The dep notice says "will take the deposition by written questions..."

"...taken by a Court Reporter with (firm name)..."


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I have done this once in my entire career. Very simple. All you do is read the question to the deponent and write the deponent's answer. What I remember doing is taking my time and writing the question on my writer first and then read the question and wrote the answer the deponent gave. So, for example, write question, ask question, write answer, and so on. Usually, it is just you and the deponent. Really easy. I hope this made sense to you. Good luck. Oh, and don't forget to administer the oath.
I have done this as well, and it is just as Cynthia has said. Put the witness under oath. Explain to the witness, first, what you are going to do -- that is, you are going to write each question down on your machine first, and then you are going to read the question to him/her, and then you take down the witness's answer just like you would in a depo. Very easy, no worries! Usually, if the depo is done by written questions, it is a very short depo -- at least it was for me. :)
Thanks, Cynthia and Quyen! I appreciate the advice.
Dude, since you are technically doing the attorney's job, do you get paid the attorney's rate as well?
I did one of those about 25 years ago.

I was called by an insurance company, told they wanted to keep the costs down, just had questions to ask, would I take the depo. I was told it was an older man (senior), depo would be at his house, and he would have his attorney there. They were going to send me the questions. I was to have no contact with the man or his attorney. I was to not take any calls from either one if they should call.

I got to man's house. Dining room table. The attorney gave me his business card. I told them my name, I was a court reporter, I was contacted and hired by the insurance company.

The attorney asked to look at the list of questions. He did not share them with the man. The attorney looked. Said he may have objections to some and we woudl wait until we got to the question.

Just like a regular deposition. I had the list of questions. I swore in the old man.
I wrote the question on my machine. Then I asked the questions to the man. He answered.
When the attorney had an objection, then he stated his objection. Then we continued.

It was very nice for writing.
When the deposition was done, it was done. The witness did not get into the "I want to say ---"
The attorney did a nice job of keeping it orderly.
Then I transcribed it and sent the whole packet to the insurance company.
Well, I didn't realize there was a whole lot of responses here already.
Thanks for all the stories and info!! I think we should get paid more too since we're doing double duty. I guess I'll have to see how much I make on this one and then decide if I will ever do this type of dep again in the future.

The firm that called me said they tried all day to get it covered and could not. I'm thinking that's a bad sign. But since I'm new in town and merely on their "overflow" list and not one of their regular reporters, saying "yes" can only go in my favor.
It's easy money - almost as good as a no show. Think of it that way.
You also get to control the flow of speed.

I did WQs (and interrogatories) for two different court reporting firms when I was in school. I think now most CR firms hire a service to handle WQs or they get someone on their office staff to do them, as you do not have to be a court reporter, just a notary (at least here in Texas). I am shocked that a realtime reporter such as yourself, highly skilled, would be even be doing written questions--that's like an architect spending his or her time playing with blocks. I did them for a couple of years and the money, for the amount of time I'd spend, was not so good (well, great for a student, but for my standards as a reporter, no way). Of course, that was back in the '80s; maybe they pay more now and maybe they're not such a hassle. I think you may find it was a waste of your time, but maybe not. Let us know!
This is a great way to take a deposition, no objections! I wish they were all like this.

You are in a room with the witness, you swear them in. Some reporters will read the questions, but I have the witness read the questions slowly and I take it down and then you just report whatever answer the witness gives. Usually they are very short and the witnesses are record custodians and they know how to testify.

Have fun!

Hi!  I was asked to do this as well, but was not provided a sealed envelope of questions pursuant to CCP 2025.330e. 

Can you take a depo by asking written questions to the deponent without the questions being in a sealed envelope?  Also, can the other side object or ask questions after I am done reading the questions and the witness is done answering them?

Here is the CCP:  (e) "In lieu of participating in the oral examination, parties may transmit written questions in a sealed envelope to the party taking the deposition for delivery to the deposition officer, who shall unseal the envelope and propound them to the deponent after the oral examination has been completed."


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