On January 1, 2013, California’s rules for conducting depositions changed. Prompted by complaints of lengthy depositions that were designed to harass instead of discover, the Consumer Attorneys of California worked with the legislature to implement the seven-hour deposition rule. It used the federal rule as a model. There were some modifications made as it went through the legislature. As a result, the California rule is not identical to the federal rule. Most notably, there are exceptions to the seven-hour limit:

  • Complex cases (sick or dying deponents do not have to submit to deposition for more than 14 hours)
  • Employment cases.
  • Depositions of persons most qualified and expert witnesses
  • New depositions taken by parties who appear after the original deposition has been concluded.

Hopefully, this change will reduce some abusive deposition practices—namely the multi-day marathon deposition aimed to dissuade your client from proceeding with the case.