Why waive reading and signing a deposition transcript?

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In this day and age where the court reporters tape record (and may even videotape) a deposition, it seems that their transcripts will be extremely accurate.  Furthermore, Court Reporters ask for spellings and corrections during the proceedings if they are unsure what they heard, wrote down or repeated into their recording devices.  So, while the deponent (the person being asked the questions at the deposition) has the right to read and then sign off on the corrected transcript of their pre-trial testimony, such action is usually waived.  If it is not waived, as may be the case when a technical expert is giving an Examination Before Trial (“EBT”, which is what a deposition is called in some other jurisdictions), there may be a need to later go to the Court Reporters’ offices, read over the transcript, correct errors in technical language and spellings and then sign, under oath, the corrected version.  Of course, if there is any variance in the testimony at trial with the transcript, it makes for sure fodder for opposing counsel’s cross examination.  Thus, in depositions of lay (non expert) witnesses, counsel usually recommends that they “waive reading and signing.” in order to save their time, money and later cross examination.

 

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