TO: Joint Procedure Committee
FROM: Mike Hagburg
DATE: January 9, 2009
RE: Rule 30, N.D.R.Civ.P., Depositions by Oral Examination; Rule 30.1, N.D.R.Civ.P., Uniform Audio-Visual Deposition Rule
Staff has prepared amendments to Rule 30 based on the federal form and style amendments. The amendments are intended make the rule more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules. The amendments also aim to modernize the rule, removing references to obsolete authority and practices.
Rule 30 has some provisions that are not included in the federal rule. Likewise, the federal rule contains provisions not found in the North Dakota version. Therefore, the Committee should examine the proposed amendments to Rule 30 closely to see whether they are desirable and consistent with North Dakota practice.
Here are some things to look at in the proposal:
Rule 30(b) has been rearranged, with some parts appearing earlier in the subdivision than in the existing rule.
Rule 30(b)(3) is a rewrite of existing material, but it goes beyond the current rule by allowing audio and audio-visual depositions.
Rule 30(b)(5) contains new material on the recording officer's duties that seems to codify existing practice. It also contains language that echoes provisions currently found in Rule 30.1.
Rule 30(b)(7) on special notices is a unique North Dakota provision that is moved later in the rule so that the organization of the rule reflects the federal organization.
Rule 30(d) has two new paragraphs, (1) on duration and (2) on sanctions, that come from the federal rule and that may not be consistent with current practice.
Rule 30(e) is a definite change from current practice, and contains proposed language that would streamline the deposition review procedure in line with federal practice.
Rule 30(g) proposes a significant condensation of the existing language.
Based on the proposed changes to Rule 30, the Committee may wish to consider the deletion of Rule 30.1. This "uniform" rule has been adopted by only North Dakota and Virginia and was created during a time when audio video recording by private parties was a new innovation. Unlike the class actions rule, no body of law has grown up around Rule 30.1 in North Dakota: it played a noticeable part, and only in passing, in just one Supreme Court case.
The proposed amendments to Rule 30 are attached. A copy of Rule 30.1 is also attached
for the Committee's reference.