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Lucy, Esq.
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US Civil Law--Depositions.....I am the plaintiff in a civil

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US Civil Law--Depositions.....I am the plaintiff in a civil lawsuit in Florida. I am acting pro se. I wish to depose 3 individuals pre-trial. How do I go about this, not having my own legal representation, and how do I wotk (or not work) with Defence Counsel to set these depositions up?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'd be happy to answer your questions today.

There's no need to work with opposing counsel, unless you'd like to choose mutually agreeable dates for the deposition. The primary benefit to doing this is that you don't have to worry about rescheduling and having to re-notice everyone, which can save you some time and energy. A party can send a subpoena with a deposition notice, telling the individuals when and where to show up. Deposition notices are not filed with the court. The other party does get a copy, and they'll have to move to quash the subpoena if they do not want the depositions to occur.

The Rule that governs depositions is 1.310.
1) A party desiring to take the deposition of any person upon oral examination shall give reasonable notice in writing to every other party to the action. The notice shall state the time and place for taking the deposition and the name and address of each person to be examined, if known, and, if the name is XXXXX XXXXX a general description sufficient to identify the person or the particular class or group to which the person belongs. If a subpoena duces tecum is to be served on the person to be examined, the designation of the materials to be produced under the subpoena shall be attached to or included in the notice.

(2) Leave of court is not required for the taking of a deposition by plaintiff if the notice states that the person to be examined is about to go out of the state and will be unavailable for examination unless a deposition is taken before expiration of the 30-day period under subdivision (a). If a party shows that when served with notice under this subdivision that party was unable through the exercise of diligence to obtain counsel to represent the party at the taking of the deposition, the deposition may not be used against that party.

 

Here is a sample deposition notice that may help.

http://4closurefraud.org/2010/03/22/notice-of-taking-deposition-example-get-to-the-truth/


Typically, you'll want to hire a stenographer to make a transcript of the deposition so you'll have it for your records. You should be able to find someone local online, or you could see if the clerk's office has a list. The Rule also allows a party to make a video recording of the deposition. The notice must mention the video recording and say who is doing it, and a stenographer must make a transcript, if you do that. For more information, if you want to videotape, take a look at the rule.

If you have any questions or concerns about what I've written, please reply so that I may address them. It's important to me that you are 100% satisfied with the service I provide. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so that I get credit for answering your question. Thank you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

This is good. I have reviewed 1.301 and the link. What ı need now is to know whether there is a specific form or format to use when sending out a deposition?

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
The format that is usually used is the one in the sample that I gave you. Here is a form from the Pinellas County court in Florida that may also help.
http://www.pinellasclerk.org/aspinclude2/CTCIV026-COCIV016-SubpoenaDucesTecum.pdf
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 19690
Experience: Lawyer
Lucy, Esq. and 13 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Whoops! The case is in Federal Court and apparently Florida Civil Procedure Rules do not apply. Perhaps best you assemble all the information from me that you need in order to provide an informed opinion.

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
I apologize. Since you stated that it was a Florida Civil Suit, I had no reason to assume that you were in Federal Court. State cases are far more common. Rule 30 governs depositions in Federal Court.

Here is a form that may be used in Federal court.
http://www.uscourts.gov/uscourts/FormsAndFees/Forms/AO088A.pdf
Customer: replied 12 months ago.

I am not sure whether you have closed this exchange out but if not I would like to follow up. The jury trial is going ahead on Sept 9. I will be acting pro se. How can I get myself up to speed on how this will pay out? I don't even know what to call the judge! Will I make a presentation to the jury? Do ı refer to trial ehxibits in the opening? As I am not represebted by counsel do I refer to myself in the first or third person when asking questions of the Defendant. Whe I've been asked questions by Defence counsel do I then question myself???? As you can see I haven't much of a clue as to what to expect, what Court procedured apply and how I can present my case to best advantage. Help!! Please!! Many thanks.

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 12 months ago.
The judge is addressed as "Your honor."

A case typically begins with opening arguments, which are made to the jury and do not include evidence. It is possible to refer to evidence that will be presented. Sometimes a person will say something like "The evidence will show...", but the opening argument is not the place to list all of the exhibits or show them to the jury. After opening arguments, evidence is presented by calling witnesses to the stand and questioning them.

You can refer to yourself any way that you like. You can say "me," "the plaintiff" or use your name. A lot of people choose to just use the first person because it's more natural. That's really a personal choice. If you are the plaintiff, you get to call your witnesses to the stand. You can call yourself and tell your story. You do not have to ask yourself questions and answer them. However, the judge may interrupt to ask questions. Be prepared for this and try not to let it fluster you. He does it to help make sure he has all the information he needs to make a decision. Just answer his questions and continue with your testimony. You can address your comments to the judge (especially if he is asking questions) or the jury, or just address the courtroom in general.

Since you have a month before the trial, you may want to go to the library and check out a book or two on representing yourself. That can help with things like presentation and tactics. It might also help to look for YouTube videos of opening and closing statements in similar types of cases.
Customer: replied 12 months ago.

Could it make sense to get ''attorney assistance''and if so how do I go about it? I am not familiar with the workings of YouTube other than for music videos. How do I find what I need re:my pro se representation?

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 12 months ago.
You can search YouTube for any videos you want. Just put in something like "opening arguments civil lawsuit pro se" and you should get a few results. If you want to see attorney arguments, you would leave out pro se, and if you want to see your specific type of case you would just put in what you're suing for instead of "civil lawsuit". A Google search might also get you some results.

If you want an attorney to try the case, you would contact local attorneys to find out what they would charge. Most lawyers won't assist with just trial preparation if they aren't trying the case. A good place to find someone with experience in this area is http://www.martindale.com.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

Lucy, an important witness of mine cannot attend the jury trial in person. Would he be permitted to participate by telephone?

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 11 months ago.

That is entirely up to the judge. You can ask that he be allowed to testify by video or telephone. You can also subpeona him, and then he's in contempt of court if he does not appear (unless the issue is something like he's been deployed overseas in the military or is in the hospital due to an emergency).

If he is out of state and therefore cannot be subpoenaed, you can also try to introduce deposition testimony given under oath, if you have it.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.

The witness is located in Utah. I would want to do this on a friendly basis so no subpoena. To get the permission of the Judge do I have to file a pleading or can I simply call his Chambers?


Also I have a witness in the UK. I have asked Defence counsel if they would accept a sworn statement from this witness and they have said they will object. Again is this a matter I can raise with the Judge?

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 11 months ago.
You unfortunately would have to file a motion. Parties are not allowed to call the judge - that's considered an ex parte communication, and it's prohibited.

You have the same options with the UK witness, since he also cannot be subpoenaed to Florida. Both witnesses can be addressed in one motion, filed with the court with a copy to the opposing party.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

Lucy, what is the amount of time allowed for a deposition under Federal Court Rules? So far 3 hours and 9 mins has been used up. Is there an immutable time limit?


3 of my witnesses are unable (for good reasons) to attend the jury trial on Sept 9. 1 has asked to participate by telephone (or video conference) and 2 by submitting statements sworn under oath. I have filed with the Court for relief in this matter. What is likely to be the Court's reaction. I would think that this is often asked of them but perhaps it is something they are reluctant to accept. I of the witnesses would need 3 days to travel to Tampa from London and back and participate at the trial.

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 11 months ago.
Rule 30(d)(1) states that a deposition is limited to one day of 7 hours, unless the parties agree otherwise or there is a court order.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 19690
Experience: Lawyer
Lucy, Esq. and 13 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

Thanks Lucy. This is a more difficult one! I am 68 years old and have a blood pressure problem. I live in Istanbul and it will take a minimum of 14 hours flying and 17 hours traevlling to get to Tampa. I have already had to ask for a postponement once on Dr's orders. The Court was reluctant to postpone the trial with the Magistrate saying that lots of people have hypertension and it wasn't his problem that I lived in Istanbul!! Astonishingly, to me at least, Defence counsel subsequently obtained a reset trial date as his client had pre-planned a birthday bash for her husband and it would cause her great inconvenience and cost to attend the trial on the rescheduled date. Quite frankly, I don't think that I can gain a lot from the trial as the defendant is not collectible. Also I am acting as pro se plaintiff so the trial preparation and presentation of my case will be enormously tiring and stressful. Most importantly I can see my heart specialist telling me that I would be mad to undertake the trip. Furthermore my young wife is pregnant and her gyno is going to tell me that it is totally irresponsible of me to travel half way round the world (well almost) and be at least 24 hours travel time away. Quite a dilemma. I am the Plaintiff in this case but the Defendant has filed a counterclaim. If I can't go what are my options? I am absolutely convinced that the Court will not countenance a further postponement on medical grounds---and by the way if I can't go now my health problem is unlikely to improve which could mean that I will never be able to travel to the use--and I do not want to file a Notice of Dismissal as that may enable the Defendant to prevail with some pretty flimsy counterclaims. Nor do I want a frivolous and harrassing charge against me and defence costs flung in my face. With what you read here, what do you thing my options may be?

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 11 months ago.
I apologize, but because trial postponement isn't considered a follow-up to the original inquiry about depositions, the terms and conditions of the site require that I ask you to open a new question.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

I have never heard that one before. In any case I have appreciated your help up until now and will rate accordingly. I will put the above question out there for a response. Many thanks.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.

I have opened a new question. I hope you willpick it up if you are so inclined. Many thanks.

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