Inactive Status: You may request Inactive Status by completing a notarized affidavit in accordance with the Inactive rules and mailing it to the Board office. To be eligible, your license must be in good standing.
Mandatory Deposition Transcript Format and Certificate Guidelines are delineated in Chapter 11 of Title 46 of the Louisiana Administrative Code. The requirement of Disclosure appears in Section 1105 and provision of Comparable Services to all parties appears in 1107.
Code of Civil Procedure Rules Concerning Depositions
You may want to read Articles 1434-1456. We’ve listed those we deem most pertinent.
Art. 1434 Person before whom a deposition taken http://www.legis.state.la.us/lss/lss.asp?doc=111206
Art. 1436 Stipulations http://www.legis.state.la.us/lss/lss.asp?doc=111208
Art. 1442 Depositions of Organizations http://www.legis.state.la.us/lss/lss.asp?doc=111215
Art. 1443 Examination and cross; record of examination; oath; objections http://www.legis.state.la.us/lss/lss.asp?doc=111216
Art. 1445 Submission to witness; changes; signing – Interpreted by the Board below http://www.legis.state.la.us/lss/lss.asp?doc=111218
Art. 1446 Certification; Delivery; Payment; Responsible party(ies) http://www.legis.state.la.us/lss/lss.asp?doc=111219
Rules Regarding Gifts to Clients may be found in Title 46, Chapter 13. Code of Ethics.
Regarding Reading & Signing
In 2011, the Board studied LA CCP 1445 and recommends the following best practices:
1) Q: What are the requirements of Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) Article 1445?
A: The text of CCP Article 1445 is quoted below in its entirety. You may want to refer to the Article for context as you review Q&A’s 2 through 9 below which break Article 1445 down into its component parts with corresponding “best practices” suggested by the CSR Board.
Art. 1445. Submission to witness; changes; signing
When the testimony is fully transcribed the deposition shall be submitted to the witness for examination and shall be read to or by him, unless such examination and reading are waived by the witness and by the parties. Any changes in form or substance which the witness desires to make shall be entered upon the deposition by the officer with a statement of the reasons given by the witness for making them. The deposition shall then be signed by the witness unless the parties by stipulation waive the signing or the witness is ill or is absent from the parish where the deposition was taken or cannot be found or refuses to sign. If the deposition is not signed by the witness within thirty days of its submission to him, the officer shall sign it and state on the record the fact of the waiver or of the illness or absence of the witness or the fact of the refusal to sign together with the reason, if any, given therefor; and the deposition may then be used as fully as though signed unless on a motion to suppress under Article 1456 the court holds that the reasons given for the refusal to sign require rejection of the deposition in whole or in part. A video deposition does not have to comply with the requirements of reading and signing by the deponents.
2) Q: When must the court reporter deliver a copy of the deposition transcript for review and signature by the witness?
A: The introductory sentence of CCP Article 1445 says, “When the testimony is fully transcribed the deposition shall be submitted to the witness for examination . . .” This language suggests that a court reporter should promptly provide the witness with a transcript for examination “when” it has been completed. Best practice would be to forward the document as soon as possible after preparing and certifying it.
3) Q: By what means and to what location must the court reporter deliver a copy of the deposition transcript to the witness for review and signature?
A: CCP Article 1445 does not specify how or where the transcript must be submitted to the witness. The reporter may choose to mail or hand deliver the deposition directly to the witness, or to the attorney who represents the witness. Some court reporters require the witness to review the deposition transcript in the reporter’s office, as long as this does not inconvenience the witness. Factors that might make it inconvenient for the witness to come to the reporter’s office include the following: a witness’ distance from the office; a witness’ disability; a witness’ work hours. Court reporters should strive to eliminate or minimize inconvenience for a witness. For example, some reporters seek professional courtesy from another reporter who would allow the witness to read and sign at that reporter’s office if it is more conveniently located than the taking reporter’s office. In any event a reporter would be wise to build a paper trail, notifying the witness in writing of a specific date, time, and place where the deposition will be made available for the witness to review and sign it.
4) Q: May the court reporter deliver a copy of the transcript to counsel who have requested it during the thirty-day period while a witness is reviewing it?
A: CCP Article 1445 does not prohibit delivery during the thirty-day period. Many reporters include a cover letter with the transcript noting that it has not yet been reviewed or signed by the witness.
5) Q: How should the court reporter record changes that a witness wants to make to the transcript?
A: CCP Article 1445 directs that, “Any changes in form or substance which the witness desires to make shall be entered upon the deposition by the officer with a statement of the reasons given by the witness . . . .” Most reporters comply with this requirement by providing blank errata forms and a Witness Certificate to the witness with instructions advising the witness to write or type the changes desired on the errata forms, sign the Witness Certificate and return them to the reporter. Upon receipt of these completed documents, the reporter should send the documents to all counsel of record who requested or received certified copies of the transcript, with instructions that the errata forms and Witness Certificate should be attached to the deposition transcript following the Transcript Certificate page.
6) Q: Upon completion of reading and signing by the witness, is the reporter to change the text of the transcript according to the changes noted by the witness?
A: No. The completed errata forms attached to the transcript reflect the changes desired by the witness.
7) Q: What reasons are explicitly recognized by CCP Article 1445 to account for why a witness may not sign the transcript?
A: CCP Article 1445 contemplates that a witness will sign the deposition except when certain specific circumstances arise: “The deposition shall then be signed by the witness unless . . . .” Article 1445 then addresses five different circumstances that might account for the witness not signing a transcript:
(a) “the parties by stipulation waive the signing”
(b) “the witness is ill”—Illness might prevent the witness from signing.
(c) “the witness . . . is absent from the parish where the deposition was taken”—Absence from the parish may also account for the lack of a signature.
(d) “the witness . . . cannot be found”—A deponent who is missing cannot sign the deposition.
(e) “the witness . . . refuses to sign”—Refusal accounts for the last of five reasons why the deponent may not sign the deposition.
8) Q: What should the court reporter do when for any of these reasons the witness has not signed the deposition?
A: CCP Article 1445 directs that, “If the deposition is not signed by the witness within thirty days of its submission to him, the officer shall sign it and state on the record the fact of the waiver or of the illness or absence of the witness or the fact of the refusal to sign together with the reason, if any, given therefor . . . .” CCP Article 1445 thereby places two responsibilities on court reporters, first directing the reporter to “sign it” and then requiring that the reporter “state on the record” why there is no signature by the witness. The reporter should therefore follow-up on every transcript for which reading and signing has been reserved in order to finalize the process. Most reporters prepare and sign a second certificate noting the appropriate reason why the witness did not read and sign the document. (See the five reasons outlined in the answer to Question 7.) That certificate is then forwarded to all counsel to whom copies of the certified transcript were delivered, with a cover letter instructing that it should be attached to the deposition transcript following the Transcript Certificate.
The language of this “Certificate Regarding Reading and Signing” might read:
“I, ______________, having duly prepared this transcript, forwarded a copy to the witness, _________________, on ____________, 2011. After thirty (30) days had elapsed, the transcript remained unsigned, for the following reason(s):
____________________________________________________________________. Now, therefore, in accordance with CCP Article 1445, I have signed the transcript and stated on the record the reasons for doing so.”
Reporter’s Name, CCR ######
Note that every transcript for which reading and signing has been reserved by the witness would ultimately have two certificates: 1) the Transcript Certificate signed by the reporter certifying the content of the verbatim transcript, and 2) either the Witness Certificate signed by the witness upon completing the reading and signing OR the reporter’s “Certificate Regarding Reading and Signing” stating the reason(s) the transcript remains unsigned.
9) Q: Might the court reporter be called upon by a court to prove that reasonable and timely effort was made to submit the transcript to the witness for reading and signing and the date on which it was submitted?
A: Yes. The surest form of proof that the deposition was submitted to the witness would be a paper or electronic receipt acknowledging “pickup” by the carrier and that a delivery confirmation was requested by the reporter. A reporter should follow-up when completed errata forms and signed Witness Certificates are not returned to the reporter.
1) Q: Can a reporter who is certified in Louisiana, take a deposition in another State, without having to obtain certification in that other state?
A: Yes. La. CCP article 1435 recognizes that depositions are taken out of state, and indicates that La. R.S. 13:3823 is applicable to depositions taken out of State.
La. R.S. 13:3823 states, ‘When an action is pending in this state, a deposition to obtain testimony … may be taken in another state…The deposition may be taken before a person authorized to administer oaths in the place where the deposition is taken by the law thereof or by the law of this state or of the United States.”
Therefore, the deposition may be taken by a certified Louisiana reporter,
2) Q: If a deposition is taken outside of Louisiana, in a matter that pertains to a Louisiana case, does the deposition have to be reported by a Louisiana reporter?
A: No, the deposition can be taken by a reporter certified in another state. The same statute (La. R.S. 13:3823) provides that the deposition may be taken if the person is authorized to do so by the laws of their own state.