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JAMS Deposition - Anyone know what to expect?


sillymonkey
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My arbitrator in JAMS allowed the OC to conduct a pre-Hearing deposition (phone).

I'm not seeing any rules under streamlined rules about this. Has anyone gone through this?

Since the arbitrator won't be present, how does it work? I mean, there's no referee there. How long can it go? What can they ask? How many questions can they ask?

 

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Just take as long as you need to answer questions, think about the type of questions they may ask, write down a prepared answer. Remember if you know your rules of civil procedure, you can object to some questions, then cite the rule and reason. Depo sucks when you are pro se, as most do not know their rules and how to cite them in context.

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My arbitrator in JAMS allowed the OC to conduct a pre-Hearing deposition (phone).

I'm not seeing any rules under streamlined rules about this. Has anyone gone through this?

Since the arbitrator won't be present, how does it work? I mean, there's no referee there. How long can it go? What can they ask? How many questions can they ask?

Having a bit more information about the case you are dealing with could make the answer more detailed.

Generally, a Depo is a form of discovery. They will be asking questions which will either help them prove their case or disprove your claims. Hard to tell not knowing at least some general idea of who the players are and what the claims are.

Generally, there should be yourself pro se, the opposing council or (2), and a court reporter that creates the transcript. I would note that they will be responsible for the cost of the court reporter during your depo. Should you try to arrange to depose someone from there side, they will seek to have you pay for the court reporters time. If you do a depostion of someone from their side, you will likely need to arrange for a court reported and pay the costs. (Best to have a discussion with the otherside and get these details ironed out prior to participting. You may find it cost prohibative to conduct your deposition of the otherside>>>)

Once all the questions are completed, you should recieve a transcript from the court reporter. You are able to review the questions and answers, and make any changes to answers you gave. These changes will be noted and could be used in the hearing, so best to answer questions well the first time. 

A depo can go as long as it takes for an attorney to ask you the same question 18 different ways to find the answer they are looking for. Again not knowing the claims of either side hard to say how long. They can generally ask you any quesiton, but you do have the right to object to the quesiton. I would say if you do this too often they will run back to the arbitrator. Given that as Sheilla stated think about the questions you feel are off limits or deal breakers and put up a fight about those, then answer the rest honestly.

With the limited knowledge of your claim and their counterclaim here are 3 things to know prior to the depo-

1. Who is paying for the court reporter, and when will the transcript be delivered for reivew.

2. Are they will to allow your depo of their witness the same day, and what costs will be associated if you agree to combine/share the court reporter.

3. When will any documents that they plan on refering to be delivered to you? You should ask to have any documents they intend to refer to in your hands 14 days prior to the depositon date. This gives you pleanty of time to review them.

There was a video of a deposition that Coltfan particpated in on the internet that runs 45 minutes. It might give you some idea of just how broad or how focused it could be...

Best of Luck, more info could offer better insights

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Thanks everyone. the thoughts help a lot. we have a LOT of claims. I saw coltfan's depo. His was actually quite a simple case, emotional distress for some calls to his cell. We have emotional distress claims as well. However, ours is more complex. CA litigating in court without the OC assignment, CA2 trying to collect at the same time etc. It was all v. stressful and scary as we didn't know what was going on.

 

At that time, I also had not really discovered the help & wealth of knowledge from this site and DB.

 

But we have many many FDCPA claims, IIED and consumer protection claims. I'm thinking, if Coltfan's depo takes 45 min for 1 claim, ours might take hours upon hours...

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Thanks everyone. the thoughts help a lot. we have a LOT of claims. I saw coltfan's depo. His was actually quite a simple case, emotional distress for some calls to his cell. We have emotional distress claims as well. However, ours is more complex. CA litigating in court without the OC assignment, CA2 trying to collect at the same time etc. It was all v. stressful and scary as we didn't know what was going on.

 

At that time, I also had not really discovered the help & wealth of knowledge from this site and DB.

 

But we have many many FDCPA claims, IIED and consumer protection claims. I'm thinking, if Coltfan's depo takes 45 min for 1 claim, ours might take hours upon hours...

Coltfans internet depo was only 45 mins. because they edited the entire depo to just parts he wanted. I would say your depo could be a long day. Remember, you can ask for breaks if needed. Finally, if the otherside is paying for all of this so it is there nickle, generally that is what arb is about running the costs up for the otherside.

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Indeed. I'm not concerned about the depot itself. The facts are there. It's just up to the arbitrator to decide how much of our claim for relief he wants to give us v the alleged debt. Either way, we have nothing to lose, even if they finally 'win' since they can't collect anything. I was just concerned about the time involved which sounds like a pain in the butt.

I assume they are paying (we'll clarify that). Either way, if they try to add that to any judgment, too bad, nada :-D

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OK. So the OC is attempting to schedule the depo IN-PERSON at their location during a day and time of their convenience on fairly short notice. They didn't file a Motion (or rather, they claimed they did in the pre-Hearing) but neither we nor JAMS got it.

 

The Arb. OKed it at the pre-Hearing but he didn't go into detail as to what the boundaries are, except that he said in the pre-Hearing that it could be over the phone.

 

In his Procedural Order, he said the OC could depose both of us and we could depose 1 Respondent.

 

Basically, he has given us less than 14 days notice (according to CCRP)

 

What do you guys think? Can I file a Motion to Limit Examination?

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OK. So the OC is attempting to schedule the depo IN-PERSON at their location during a day and time of their convenience on fairly short notice. They didn't file a Motion (or rather, they claimed they did in the pre-Hearing) but neither we nor JAMS got it.

 

The Arb. OKed it at the pre-Hearing but he didn't go into detail as to what the boundaries are, except that he said in the pre-Hearing that it could be over the phone.

 

In his Procedural Order, he said the OC could depose both of us and we could depose 1 Respondent.

 

Basically, he has given us less than 14 days notice (according to CCRP)

 

What do you guys think? Can I file a Motion to Limit Examination?

 

Be mindful that civil litigation via court and/or arbitration in meeting rulings is about perception as well as following the rules and civil procedures. Aribtrtion was meant to be less formal and a easing of civil procedure, not ababndonment of civil procedure.

Given this you always want to portray yourself as accomadting to the otherside, with-in the JAM rules and your local civil procedures. First decide what about the current proposal for depo doesn't work. Then reach out via phone or email to the otherside with a counter proposal of dates, times and location. (note always follow-up with email after a phone agreement)

The reason the Arbitrator's order is so indeterminate is they are expecting professionalism on both sides to accomplish the depo. If you let the otherside know that their proposal doesn't work, but these are dates and times available you will clear the perciption hurdle, should both sides need a more definite order for the Arbitrartor.

I don't think there is any need for a Motion at this point. I do believe you need to push back and get dates and times that work for you and your spouse. One thing to consider is they will want to depose you seperately from your spouse. This way they will get different answers. Not sure if this makes a difference to your case.

Also, if the phone is listed as ok in the arb order, and there is any distance to drive, in person would be out of the question for me. You will need to determine for yourselves how that fits.

Finally, if you find you cannot come to agreement then you will need to have the arbitrator decide on dates and times. If you do this you want an email trail that shows you attempted to get this accomplished in good faith via your discussions. Also this would be where I pointed out any civil procedures governing timing and the like for depositions.

Sounds like you are in for a fight, which means the otherside is burning cash! This will get old for them evenutally...

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Also you may want to be sure to read JAMS rules on Discovery, if you haven't already.

 

I just remembered that in the Streamlined Rules #9 and Comprehensive Rules #12, that your spouse can be represented by counsel or any party she chooses, which could be you for the Deposition.  Just remember in most states you can not represent her in any state court proceeding, this would a UPL violation.

 

I used this rule to handle a case for my wife while dealing with JAMS.  You need to follow the rule and let the otherside know.....  

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  • 2 months later...

Although my deposition wasn't via JAMS, I don't see how it could be much different.  You will be asked tons a questions, some will be the same just asked differently.  They're trying to get any type of evidence they can use against you.  My deposition lasted about 2 hours with two breaks so expect it to be somewhat lengthy.

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