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Rule Change! Court Reporters No Longer to Tell Witnesses about their Right to Review the Transcript.

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The Rules of Civil Procedure on a court reporter’s duties to inform a witness of their rights after a deposition have been revised in Arizona. Read on to learn more about the rule change and how it affects counsel for a witness testifying in an Arizona deposition, and contact an experienced Arizona court reporter with any additional questions.

Notice of right to transcript review – it’s no longer the court reporter’s duty to provide one

Formerly, Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure required court reporters to speak up to let deposition witnesses know about their right to review their deposition transcript. Before a deposition had concluded, if counsel did not inform the witness of this right, a court reporter had the obligation to advise the witness that they had 30 days to review and either affirm or modify a transcript. This also applied to video and audio recordings of depositions. If the witness made changes to a transcript, they were obligated to explain why they chose to make these changes.

As of January 1, 2017, court reporters no longer bear this duty. Under the new rule, court reporters must only provide an opportunity to the witness to review and affirm if requested before the conclusion of the deposition or modify the transcript of the deposition for the 30 days after the transcript or recording is completed.

Revised duties regarding certificate on transcript review

In addition to the changes on notice, the rule on what information is included in the court reporter’s certificate regarding a witness’s transcript review has also changed. Previously, when witnesses invoked their right to review and either provide modifications or affirm, the court reporter was required to attach either:

1) the witness’s affirmation or the changes the witness made to the transcript, or

2) to state that the witness failed to provide either an affirmation or modifications to the transcript.

Now, if neither the witness nor counsel for the witness invokes their right for review, the court reporter must include “not requested” in the transcript of that deposition, or include any changes that were requested by the witness. A knowledgeable and effective Arizona court reporter will be able to inform both local and out-of-state counsel on their rights and obligations under local rules of civil procedure, allowing counsel to focus their energies on the more important task of taking or defending their deposition.