General. Depositions of parties, intervenors, or witnesses shall be allowed only by agreement of all the parties, or on order of the Commission or Judge following the filing of a motion of a party stating good and just reasons. All depositions shall be before an officer authorized to administer oaths and affirmations at the place of examination. The deposition shall be taken in accordance with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, particularly Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30.
When to file. A motion to take depositions may be filed after the filing of the first responsive pleading or motion that delays the filing of an answer, such as a motion to dismiss.
Notice of taking. Any depositions allowed by the Commission or Judge may be taken after 10 days written notice to the other party or parties. The 10-day notice requirement may be waived by the parties.
Expenses. Expenses for a court reporter and the preparing and serving of depositions shall be borne by the party at whose instance the deposition is taken.
Use of depositions. Depositions taken under this rule may be used for discovery, to contradict or impeach the testimony of a deponent as a witness, or for any other purpose permitted by the Federal Rules of Evidence and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, particularly Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 32.
Excerpts from depositions to be offered at hearing. Except when used for purposes of impeachment, at least 5 working days prior to the hearing, the parties or counsel shall furnish to the Judge and all opposing parties or counsel the excerpts from depositions (by page and line number) which they expect to introduce at the hearing. Four working days thereafter, the adverse party or counsel for the adverse party shall furnish to the Judge and all opposing parties or counsel additional excerpts from the depositions (by page and line number) which they expect to be read pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 32(a)(4), as well as any objections (by page and line number) to opposing party's or counsel's depositions. With reasonable notice to the Judge and all parties or counsel, other excerpts may be read.
Telephone depositions may be conducted pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30(b)(4).
If a party objects to a telephone deposition, he shall make known his objections at least 5 days prior to the taking of the deposition. If the objection is not resolved by the parties or the Judge before the scheduled deposition date, the deposition shall be stayed pending resolution of the dispute.
Video depositions. By indicating in its notice of a deposition that it wishes to record the deposition by videotape (and identifying the proposed videotape operator), a party shall be deemed to have moved for such an order under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30(b)(3). Unless an objection is filed and served within 10 days after such notice is received, the Judge shall be deemed to have granted the motion pursuant to the following terms and conditions:
Stenographic recording. The videotaped deposition shall be simultaneously recorded stenographically by a qualified court reporter. The court reporter shall administer the oath or affirmation to the deponents on camera. The written transcript by the court reporter shall constitute the official record of the deposition for purposes of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30(e) (submission to witness).
Cost. The noticing party shall bear the expense of both the videotaping and the stenographic recording. Any party may at its own expense obtain a copy of the videotape and the stenographic transcript.
Video operator. The operator(s) of the videotape recording equipment shall be subject to the provisions of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 28 (c). At the commencement of the deposition the operator(s) shall swear or affirm to record the proceedings fairly and accurately.
Attendance. Each witness, attorney, and other person attending the deposition shall be identified on camera at the commencement of the deposition. Thereafter, only the deponent (and demonstrative materials used during the deposition) will be videotaped. Identification on camera of each witness, attorney, and other person attending the deposition may be waived by the attorneys for the parties.
Standards. The deposition will be conducted in a manner to replicate, to the extent feasible, the presentation of evidence at a hearing. Unless physically incapacitated, the deponent shall be seated at a table or in a witness box except when reviewing or presenting demonstrative materials for which a change in position is needed. To the extent practicable, the deposition will be conducted in a neutral setting, against a solid background, with only such lighting as is required for accurate video recording. Lighting, camera angle, lens setting, and field of view will be changed only as necessary to record accurately the natural body movements of the deponent or to portray exhibits and materials used during the deposition. Sound levels will be altered only as necessary to record satisfactorily the voices of counsel and the deponent. Eating and smoking by deponents or counsel during the deposition will not be permitted.
Interruptions. Videotape recording will be suspended during all "off the record" discussions.
Index. The videotape operator shall use a counter on the recording equipment and after completion of the deposition shall prepare a log, cross-referenced to counter numbers, that identifies the positions on the tape at which examination by different counsel begins and ends; at which objections are made and examination resumes; at which exhibits are identified; and at which any interruption of continuous tape recording occurs, whether for recesses, "off the record" discussions, mechanical failure, or otherwise.
Filing. If a videotaped deposition is used at the hearing, the original of the videotape recording, together with the transcript, the operator's log index, and a certificate of the operator attesting to the accuracy of the tape, shall be filed with the Judge. No part of a videotaped deposition shall be released or made available to any member of the public unless authorized by the Commission or the Judge.
Objections. Requests for prehearing rulings on the admissibility of evidence obtained during a videotaped deposition shall be accompanied by appropriate pages of the written transcript. If the objection involves matters peculiar to the videotaping, a copy of the videotape and equipment for viewing the tape shall also be provided to the Commission or Judge.
Use of hearing; purged tapes. A party desiring to offer a videotape deposition at the hearing shall be responsible for having available appropriate playback equipment and a trained operator. After the designation by all parties of the portions of a videotape to be used at the hearing, an edited copy of the tape, purged of unnecessary portions (and any portions to which objections have been sustained), must be prepared by the offering party to facilitate continuous playback; but a copy of the edited tape shall be made available to other parties at least 10 days before it is used, and the unedited original of the tape shall also be available at the hearing.
[51 FR 32015, Sept. 8, 1986; 52 FR 13832, Apr. 27, 1987, as amended at 57 FR 41686, Sept. 11, 1992; 74 FR 63987, Dec. 7, 2009]