On Monday, September 17, 2012, Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill 1875 which will limit depositions to one seven (7) hour day. This law conforms with the federal rules and becomes effective on January 1, 2013. The enactment of the legislation will add Section 2025.290 to the Code of Civil Procedure which will read as follows:
(a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), or by any court order, including a case management order, a deposition examination of the witness by all counsel, other than the witness’ counsel of record, shall be limited to seven hours of total testimony. The court shall allow additional time, beyond any limits imposed by this section, if needed to fairly examine the deponent or if the deponent, another person, or any other circumstance impedes or delays the examination.
(b) This section shall not apply under any of the following circumstances:
(1) If the parties have stipulated that this section will not apply to a specific deposition or to the entire proceeding.
(2) To any deposition of a witness designated as an expert pursuant to Sections 2034.210 to 2034.310, inclusive.
(3) To any case designated as complex by the court pursuant to Rule 3.400 of the California Rules of Court, unless a licensed physician attests in a declaration served on the parties that the deponent suffers from an illness or condition that raises substantial medical doubt of survival of the deponent beyond six months, in which case the deposition examination of the witness by all counsel, other than the witness’ counsel of record, shall be limited to two days of no more than seven hours of total testimony each day, or 14 hours of total testimony.
(4) To any case brought by an employee or applicant for employment against an employer for acts or omissions arising out of or relating to the employment relationship.
(5) To any deposition of a person who is designated as the most qualified person tobe deposed under Section 2025.230.
(6) To any party who appeared in the action after the deposition has concluded, in which case the new party may notice another deposition subject to the requirements of this section.
(c) It is the intent of the Legislature that any exclusions made by this section shall not be construed to create any presumption or any substantive change to existing law relating to the appropriate time limit for depositions falling within the exclusion. Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect the existing right of any party to move for a protective order or the court’s discretion to make any order that justice requires to limit a deposition in order to protect any party, deponent, or other natural person or organization from unwarranted annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, undue burden, or expense.
Any thoughts, words of wisdom or advice?