Rule 30. Depositions by Oral Examination
(a) When a Deposition May Be
(1) Without Leave. A party may, by oral
questions, depose any person, including a party, without
leave of court except as provided in Rule 30(a)(2). The
deponent’s attendance may be compelled by subpoena under
(2) With Leave. A party must obtain
leave of court, and the court must grant leave to the
extent consistent with Rule 26(b)(2):
(A) if the parties have not stipulated
to the deposition and:
(i) the deposition would result in more
than 10 depositions being taken under this rule or Rule
31 by the plaintiffs, or by the defendants, or by the
(ii) the deponent has already been
deposed in the case; or
(iii) the party seeks to take the
deposition before the time specified in Rule 26(d),
unless the party certifies in the notice, with
supporting facts, that the deponent is expected to leave
the United States and be unavailable for examination in
this country after that time; or
(B) if the deponent is confined in
(b) Notice of the Deposition; Other Formal
(1) Notice in General. A party who
wants to depose a person by oral questions must give
reasonable written notice to every other party. The
notice must state the time and place of the deposition
and, if known, the deponent’s name and address. If the
name is unknown, the notice must provide a general
description sufficient to identify the person or the
particular class or group to which the person belongs.
(2) Producing Documents. If a subpoena
duces tecum is to be served on the deponent, the
materials designated for production, as set out in the
subpoena, must be listed in the notice or in an
attachment. The notice to a party deponent may be
accompanied by a request under Rule 34 to produce
documents and tangible things at the deposition.
(3) Method of Recording.
(A) Method Stated in the Notice. The
party who notices the deposition must state in the
notice the method for recording the testimony. Unless
the court orders otherwise, testimony may be recorded by
audio, audiovisual, or stenographic means. The noticing
party bears the recording costs. Any party may arrange
to transcribe a deposition.
(B) Additional Method. With prior
notice to the deponent and other parties, any party may
designate another method for recording the testimony in
addition to that specified in the original notice. That
party bears the expense of the additional record or
transcript unless the court orders otherwise.
(4) By Remote Means. The parties may
stipulate — or the court may on motion order — that a
deposition be taken by telephone or other remote means.
For the purpose of this rule and Rules
37 (a) (2),
and 37(b)(1), the deposition takes place where the
deponent answers the question
(5) Officer’s Duties
(A) Before the Deposition. Unless the
parties stipulate otherwise, a deposition must be
conducted before an officer appointed or designated
under Rule 28. The officer must begin the deposition
with an on-the-record statement that includes:
(i) the officer’s name and business
(ii) the date, time, and place of the
(iii) the deponent’s name;
(iv) the officer’s administration of
the oath or affirmation to the deponent; and
(v) the identity of all persons
(B) Conducting the Deposition; Avoiding
Distortion. If the deposition is recorded nonstenographically,
the officer must repeat the items in
Rule 30(b)(5)(A)(i)-(iii) at the beginning of each unit
of the recording medium. The deponent’s and attorneys’
appearance or demeanor must not be distorted through
(C) After the Deposition. At the end of
a deposition, the officer must state on the record that
the deposition is complete and must set out any
stipulations made by the attorneys about custody of the
transcript or recording and of the exhibits, or about
any other pertinent matters.
(6) Notice or Subpoena Directed to an
Organization. In its notice or subpoena, a
party may name as the deponent a public or private
corporation, a partnership, an association, a
governmental agency, or other entity and must describe
with reasonable particularity the matters for
examination. The named organization must then designate
one or more officers, directors, or managing agents, or
designate other persons who consent to testify on its
behalf; and it may set out the matters on which each
person designated will testify. A subpoena must advise a
nonparty organization of its duty to make this
designation. The persons designated must testify about
information known or reasonably available to the
organization. This paragraph (6) does not preclude a
deposition by any other procedure allowed by these
(c) Examination and Cross-Examination; Record of
the Examination; Objections; Written Questions.
(1) Examination and Cross-Examination.
The examination and cross-examination of a deponent
proceed as they would at trial under the Federal Rules
of Evidence, except Rules 103 and 615. after putting the
deponent under oath or affirmation, the officer must
record the testimony by the method designated under Rule
30 (b) (3) (A). The testimony must be recorded by the
officer personally or by a person acting in the presence
and under the direction of the officer.
(2) Objections. An objection at the
time of the examination — whether to evidence, to a
party’s conduct, to the officer’s qualifications, to the
manner of taking the deposition, or to any other aspect
of the deposition — must be noted on the record, but the
examination still proceeds; the testimony is taken
subject to any objection. An objection must be stated
concisely in a nonargumentative and nonsuggestive
manner. A person may instruct a deponent not to answer
only when necessary to preserve a privilege, to enforce
a limitation ordered by the court, or to present a
motion under Rule 30(d)(3).
(3) Participating Through Written Questions.
Instead of participating in the oral examination, a
party may serve written questions in a sealed envelope
on the party noticing the deposition, who must deliver
them to the officer. The officer must ask the deponent
those questions and record the answers verbatim.
(d) Duration; Sanction; Motion to Terminate or
(1) Duration. Unless otherwise
stipulated or ordered by the court, a deposition is
limited to 1 day of 7 hours. The court must allow
additional time consistent with Rule 26(b)(2) if needed
to fairly examine the deponent or if the deponent,
another person, or any other circumstance impedes or
delays the examination.
(2) Sanction. The court may impose an
appropriate sanction — including the reasonable expenses
and attorney’s fees incurred by any party — on a person
who impedes, delays, or frustrates the fair examination
of the deponent.
(3) Motion to Terminate or Limit.
(A) Grounds. At any time during a
deposition, the deponent or a party may move to
terminate or limit it on the ground that it is being
conducted in bad faith or in a manner that unreasonably
annoys, embarrasses, or oppresses the deponent or party.
The motion may be filed in the court where the action is
pending or the deposition is being taken. If the
objecting deponent or party so demands, the deposition
must be suspended for the time necessary to obtain an
(B) Order. The court may order that the
deposition be terminated or may limit its scope and
manner as provided in Rule
terminated, the deposition may be resumed only by order
of the court where the action is pending.
(C) Award of Expenses. Rule
applies to the award of expenses.
(e) Review by the Witness; Changes.
(1) Review; Statement of Changes. On
request by the deponent or a party before the deposition
is completed, the deponent must be allowed 30 days after
being notified by the officer that the transcript or
recording is available in which:
(A) to review the transcript or
(B) if there are changes in form or
substance, to sign a statement listing the changes and
the reasons for making them.
(2) Changes Indicated in the Officer’s
Certificate. The officer must note in the
certificate prescribed by Rule 30(f)(1) whether a review
was requested and, if so, must attach any changes the
deponent makes during the 30-day period.
(f) Certification and Delivery; Exhibits; Copies
of the Transcript or Recording; Filing.
(1) Certification and Delivery. The
officer must certify in writing that the witness was
duly sworn and that the deposition accurately records
the witness’s testimony. The certificate must accompany
the record of the deposition. Unless the court orders
otherwise, the officer must seal the deposition in an
envelope or package bearing the title of the action and
marked “Deposition of [witness’s name]” and must
promptly send it to the attorney who arranged for the
transcript or recording. The attorney must store it
under conditions that will protect it against loss,
destruction, tampering, or deterioration.
(2) Documents and Tangible Things.
(A) Originals and Copies. Documents and
tangible things produced for inspection during a
deposition must, on a party’s request, be marked for
identification and attached to the deposition. Any party
may inspect and copy them. But if the person who
produced them wants to keep the originals, the person
(i) offer copies to be marked, attached
to the deposition, and then used as originals — after
giving all parties a fair opportunity to verify the
copies by comparing them with the originals; or
(ii) give all parties a fair
opportunity to inspect and copy the originals after they
are marked — in which event the originals may be used as
if attached to the deposition.
(B) Order Regarding the Originals. Any
party may move for an order that the originals be
attached to the deposition pending final disposition of
(3) Copies of the Transcript or Recording.
Unless otherwise stipulated or ordered by the court, the
officer must retain the stenographic notes of a
deposition taken stenographically or a copy of the
recording of a deposition taken by another method. When
paid reasonable charges, the officer must furnish a copy
of the transcript or recording to any party or the
(4) Notice of Filing. A party who files
the deposition must promptly notify all other parties of
(g) Failure to Attend a Deposition or Serve a
Subpoena; Expenses. A party who, expecting a
deposition to be taken, attends in person or by an
attorney may recover reasonable expenses for attending,
including attorney’s fees, if the noticing party failed
(1) attend and proceed with the
(2) serve a subpoena on a nonparty
deponent, who consequently did not attend.
(Amended Jan. 21, 1963, eff. July 1, 1963; Mar. 30,
1970, eff. July 1, 1970; Mar. 1, 1971, eff. July
1, 1971; Nov. 20, 1972, eff. July 1, 1975;
Apr. 29, 1980, eff. Aug. 1, 1980; Mar. 2, 1987, eff.
Aug. 1, 1987; Apr. 22, 1993, eff. Dec. 1, 1993;
Apr. 17, 2000, eff. Dec. 1, 2000;
Apr. 30, 2007, eff. Dec. 1,