Ask a Lawyer and Get Answers to Your Legal Questions
Dear Customer, I am sorry for the lengthy delay in getting a response to your question. I am sorry to learn of this unfortunate act by the deposition officer, fortunately it is not common. I will try to address your questions in series and give you some initial thoughts. You say that the deposition officer was a "professional photocopier" many deposition services are licensed or approved by various agencies (including "licensed photocopy services"). If you want to do so, you may report this deposition service provider to any of the agencies or departments that it holds itself out to be licensed by. Unfortunately, there is no requirement to be licensed, so there is no way to stop them from continuing to act as a deposition service in this case.
(1) As far as legal action against the deposition officer - you have a claim for negligence against the officer for any and all harm that is caused due to the release of your records outside of the litigation (meaning if your financial information is released to a third party and that is used fraudulently to your detriment - the deposition officer is responsible for it).
(2) Your records may be admissible in Court only if the other side can prove they were not produced absent fraud or other improper conduct (what happens in many cases such as this is that the party engaging in sneaky conduct actually harms itself by trying to get documents early, it otherwise would get in time, and then is not allowed to use them, even if they later get them properly). If the Court decides they are admissible, the other side would have to show they were received by means other than through the improper subpoena production.
(3) The deposition officer will not be responsible for any costs. However, the attorney for the other side may be (remember, the deposition officer is the agent for the other party). If it is shown that the acts by the other side caused unnecessary attorney's fees and costs to mitigate the issue they created, a court has discretion to award costs and fees (but remember, this is discretionary and not mandatory).
(4) You cannot dismiss a deposition officer (they are an agent for the other side in the course of litigation - see above).
(5) While the fact that your information may be irretrievably open to the parties in the case (there are options and motions that can be pursued above to mitigate this, but addressing this in the "worst case"), any information that may be disseminated to third parties could subject the deposition officer (as well as the attorney and the other party - as principals to the officer) to civil liability for any damages that may be caused from this information being leaked out.
I hope that the above information is helpful, if you have any questions, please use the “Reply to Expert Link” and I will follow up promptly. Once you are satisfied with your answer, please rate my service by clicking on the “OK” “GOOD” or “EXCELLENT” buttons, if you believe my service is anything less than “OK” please stop and tell me what additional information or clarification you need to make your experience satisfactory.
If you have any further questions, or if I missed or misunderstood what you were asking, please do ask and I will follow up promptly, You may continue to follow up if further questions arise even after rating my response.
My system shows you as “off line.” I have moved your question to our “Q&A” format to ensure that you are able to review my response and ask any questions you may have (or to follow up if I misunderstood or missed what you were asking for in the first place, as this sometimes happens in this type of forum).
I will respond to any questions you may have promptly, and will do my best to ensure that you receive the best answer possible; you may continue to follow up if further questions arise even after rating my response.
Once I have answered your questions, please do not forget to rate my response so that I can receive credit for it.
Best regards, XXXXX XXXXX you,
Thank you for the kind rating, it is greatly appreciated. I wish you the best of luck with this matter. If you have further questions regarding this type of issue, or any other legal matter, please do not hesitate to use our service in the future. You may post a question for any of our experts in general, or to me directly by titling your question “To CalAttorney 2…” or using the link: http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-wdb-esq/
Best regards, and thank you,