Frequently Asked Questions Regarding

Video Depositions

Under New York State Civil Procedure

Does New York State allow depositions to be conducted by video conference?

New York Civil Practice Laws and Rule 3113 specifies that the parties may stipulate to a deposition by remote electronic means. (Cited Rules are reprinted at the end of these Frequently Asked Questions.) There is authority that, at least under some circumstances, the court may order a video deposition over the objection of a party. See Gabriel v. Johnston’s L.P. Gas Service, Inc., 98 A.D.3d 168, (4th Dep’t 2012) opn amended, 104 A.D. 3rd 1262 (4th Dep’t 2016)

Must a notary be present during a remote video deposition?

New York does require that a deposition be taken before a notary or other “officer.” However, Rule 3113 expressly permits the parties to stipulate that the notary may participate remotely.

Does New York State expressly permit video recording of depositions?

Yes. 22 NYCRR 202.15, part of the Uniform Rules for N.Y.S. Trial Courts, expressly allows video depositions.

Must a “court reporter” or any other stenographer be present during a deposition by video conference?

No.

If a transcript is prepared, who certifies to its accuracy?

Under CPLR Rule 3116, the officer (usually a notary) before whom the deposition is taken certifies to the accuracy of the transcript.

Administrative Rules of the Unified Court System & Uniform Rules of the Trial Courts

Uniform Rules for N.Y.S. Trial Courts

Part 202 Uniform Civil Rules For The Supreme Court and The County Court

Section 202.15 Videotape recording of civil depositions.
(22 NYCRR 202.15)

(a) When Permitted. Depositions authorized under the provisions of the Civil Practice Law and Rules or other law may be taken, as permitted by section 3113(b) of the Civil Practice Law and Rules, by means of simultaneous audio and visual electronic recording, provided such recording is made in conformity with this section.

(b) Other Rules Applicable. Except as otherwise provided in this section, or where the nature of videotaped recording makes compliance impossible or unnecessary, all rules generally applicable to examinations before trial shall apply to videotaped recording of depositions.

(c) Notice of Taking Deposition. Every notice or subpoena for the taking of a videotaped deposition shall state that it is to be videotaped and the name and address of the videotape operator and of the operator’s employer, if any. The operator may be an employee of the attorney taking the deposition. Where an application for an order to take a videotaped deposition is made, the application and order shall contain the same information.

(d) Conduct of the Examination.
(1) The deposition shall begin by one of the attorneys or the operator stating on camera:
(i) the operator’s name and address;
(ii) the name and address of the operator’s employer;
(iii) the date, the time and place of the deposition; and
(iv) the party on whose behalf the deposition is being taken.
The officer before whom the deposition is taken shall be a person authorized by statute and shall identify himself or herself and swear the witness on camera. If the deposition requires the use of more than one tape, the end of each tape and the beginning of each succeeding tape shall be announced by the operator.
(2) Every videotaped deposition shall be timed by means of a time-date generator which shall permanently record hours, minutes and seconds. Each time the videotape is stopped and resumed, such times shall be orally announced on the tape.
(3) More than one camera may be used, either in sequence or simultaneously.
(4) At the conclusion of the deposition, a statement shall be made on camera that the recording is completed. As soon as practicable thereafter, the videotape shall be shown to the witness for examination, unless such showing and examination are waived by the witness and the parties.
(5) Technical data, such as recording speeds and other information needed to replay or copy the tape, shall be included on copies of the videotaped deposition.

(e) Copies and Transcription. The parties may make audio copies of the deposition and thereafter may purchase additional audio and audio-visual copies. A party may arrange to have a stenographic transcription made of the deposition at his or her own expense.

(f) Certification. The officer before whom the videotape deposition is taken shall cause to be attached to the original videotape recording a certification that the witness was fully sworn or affirmed by the officer and that the videotape recording is a true record of the testimony given by the witness. If the witness has not waived the right to a showing and examination of the videotape deposition, the witness shall also sign the certification in accordance with the provisions of section 3116 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules.

(g) Filing and Objections.
(1) If no objections have been made by any of the parties during the course of the deposition, the videotape deposition may be filed by the proponent with the clerk of the trial court and shall be filed upon the request of any party.
(2) If objections have been made by any of the parties during the course of the deposition, the videotape deposition, with the certification, shall be submitted to the court upon the request of any of the parties within 10 days after its recording, or within such other period as the parties may stipulate, or as soon thereafter as the objections may be heard by the court, for the purpose of obtaining rulings on the objections. An audio copy of the sound track may be submitted in lieu of the videotape for this purpose, as the court may prefer. The court may view such portions of the videotape recording as it deems pertinent to the objections made, or may listen to an audiotape recording. The court, in its discretion, may also require submission of a stenographic transcript of the portion of the deposition to which objection is made, and may read such transcript in lieu of reviewing the videotape or audio copy.
(3)
(i) The court shall rule on the objections prior to the date set for trial and shall return the recording to the proponent of the videotape with notice to the parties of its rulings and of its instructions as to editing. The editing shall reflect the rulings of the court and shall remove all references to the objections. The proponent, after causing the videotape to be edited in accordance with the court’s instructions, may cause both the original videotape recording and the deleted version of the recording, clearly identified, to be filed with the clerk of the trial court, and shall do so at the request of any party. Before such filing, the proponent shall permit the other party to view the edited videotape.
(ii) The court may, in respect to objectionable material, instead of ordering its deletion, permit such material to be clearly marked so that the audio recording may be suppressed by the operator during the objectionable portion when the videotape is presented at the trial. In such case the proponent may cause both the original videotape recording and a marked version of that recording, each clearly identified, to be filed with the clerk of the trial court, and shall do so at the request of any party.

(h) Custody of Tape. When the tape is filed with the clerk of the court, the clerk shall give an appropriate receipt for the tape and shall provide secure and adequate facilities for the storage of videotape recordings.

(i) Use at Trial. The use of videotape recordings of depositions at the trial shall be governed by the provisions of the Civil Practice Law and Rules and all other relevant statutes, court rules and decisional law relating to depositions and relating to the admissibility of evidence. The proponent of the videotaped deposition shall have the responsibility of providing whatever equipment and personnel may be necessary for presenting such videotape deposition.

(j) Applicability to Audio Taping of Depositions. Except where clearly inapplicable because of the lack of a video portion, these rules are equally applicable to the taking of depositions by audio recording alone. However, in the case of the taking of a deposition upon notice by audio recording alone, any party, at least five days before the date noticed for taking the deposition, may apply to the court for an order establishing additional or alternate procedures for the taking of such audio deposition, and upon the making of the application, the deposition may be taken only in accordance with the court order.

(k) Cost. The cost of videotaping or audio recording shall be borne by the party who served the notice for the videotaped or audio recording of the deposition, and such cost shall be a taxable disbursement in the action unless the court in its discretion orders otherwise in the interest of justice.

(l) Transcription for Appeal. On appeal, visual and audio depositions shall be transcribed in the same manner as other testimony and transcripts filed in the appellate court. The visual and audio depositions shall remain part of the original record in the case and shall be transmitted therewith. In lieu of the transcribed deposition and, on leave of the appellate court, a party may request a viewing of portions of the visual deposition by the appellate court but, in such case, a transcript of pertinent portions of the deposition shall be filed as required by the court.

Historical Note
Sec. filed Jan. 9, 1986 eff. Jan. 6, 1986.

New York Consolidated Laws

Civil Practice Law and Rules – CVP

Article 31. Disclosure

Rule 3113 Conduct of the Examination

(a) Persons before whom depositions may be taken. Depositions may be taken before any of the following persons except an attorney, or employee of an attorney, for a party or prospective party and except a person who would be disqualified to act as a juror because of interest in the event or consanguinity or affinity to a party:

1. within the state, a person authorized by the laws of the state to administer oaths;
2. without the state but within the United States or within a territory or possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, a person authorized to take acknowledgments of deeds outside of the state by the real property law of the state or to administer oaths by the laws of the United States or of the place where the deposition is taken; and
3. in a foreign country, any diplomatic or consular agent or representative of the United States, appointed or accredited to, and residing within, the country, or a person appointed by commission or under letters rogatory, or an officer of the armed forces authorized to take the acknowledgment of deeds.
Officers may be designated in notices or commissions either by name or descriptive title and letters rogatory may be addressed “To the Appropriate Authority in (here name the state or country).”
(b) Oath of witness; recording of testimony; objections; continuous examination; written questions read by examining officer. The officer before whom the deposition is to be taken shall put the witness on oath and shall personally, or by someone acting under his direction, record the testimony. The testimony shall be recorded by stenographic or other means, subject to such rules as may be adopted by the appellate division in the department where the action is pending. All objections made at the time of the examination to the qualifications of the officer taking the deposition or the person recording it, or to the manner of taking it, or to the testimony presented, or to the conduct of any person, and any other objection to the proceedings, shall be noted by the officer upon the deposition and the deposition shall proceed subject to the right of a person to apply for a protective order. The deposition shall be taken continuously and without unreasonable adjournment, unless the court otherwise orders or the witness and parties present otherwise agree. In lieu of participating in an oral examination, any party served with notice of taking a deposition may transmit written questions to the officer, who shall propound them to the witness and record the answers.
(c) Examination and cross-examination. Examination and cross-examination of deponents shall proceed as permitted in the trial of actions in open court, except that a non-party deponent’s counsel may participate in the deposition and make objections on behalf of his or her client in the same manner as counsel for a party. When the deposition of a party is taken at the instance of an adverse party, the deponent may be cross-examined by his or her own attorney. Cross-examination need not be limited to the subject matter of the examination in chief.
(d) The parties may stipulate that a deposition be taken by telephone or other remote electronic means and that a party may participate electronically. The stipulation shall designate reasonable provisions to ensure that an accurate record of the deposition is generated, shall specify, if appropriate, reasonable provisions for the use of exhibits at the deposition; shall specify who must and who may physically be present at the deposition; and shall provide for any other provisions appropriate under the circumstances. Unless otherwise stipulated to by the parties, the officer administering the oath shall be physically present at the place of the deposition and the additional costs of conducting the deposition by telephonic or other remote electronic means, such as telephone charges, shall be borne by the party requesting that the deposition be conducted by such means.

Rule 3116 Signing Deposition; Physical Preparation; Copies

(a) Signing. The deposition shall be submitted to the witness for examination and shall be read to or by him or her, and any changes in form or substance which the witness desires to make shall be entered at the end of the deposition with a statement of the reasons given by the witness for making them. The deposition shall then be signed by the witness before any officer authorized to administer an oath. If the witness fails to sign and return the deposition within sixty days, it may be used as fully as though signed. No changes to the transcript may be made by the witness more than sixty days after submission to the witness for examination.

(b) Certification and filing by officer. The officer before whom the deposition was taken shall certify on the deposition that the witness was duly sworn by him and that the deposition is a true record of the testimony given by the witness. He shall list all appearances by the parties and attorneys. If the deposition was taken on written questions, he shall attach to it the copy of the notice and written questions received by him. He shall then securely seal the deposition in an envelope endorsed with the title of the action and the index number of the action, if one has been assigned, and marked “Deposition of (here insert name of witness)” and shall promptly file it with, or send it by registered or certified mail to the clerk of the court where the case is to be tried. The deposition shall always be open to the inspection of the parties, each of whom is entitled to make copies thereof. If a copy of the deposition is furnished to each party or if the parties stipulate to waive filing, the officer need not file the original but may deliver it to the party taking the deposition.

(c) Exhibits. Documentary evidence exhibited before the officer or exhibits marked for identification during the examination of the witness shall be annexed to and returned with the deposition. However, if requested by the party producing documentary evidence or on exhibit, the officer shall mark it for identification as an exhibit in the case, give each party an opportunity to copy or inspect it, and return it to the party offering it, and it may then be used in the same manner as if annexed to and returned with the deposition.

(d) Expenses of taking. Unless the court orders otherwise, the party taking the deposition shall bear the expense thereof.

(e) Errors of officer or person transcribing. Errors and irregularities of the officer or the person transcribing the deposition are waived unless a motion to suppress the deposition or some part thereof is made with reasonable promptness after such defect is, or with due diligence might have been, ascertained.