(a) In general. In addition to the discovery permitted in subpart A of this part, limited discovery by means of depositions shall be allowed for individuals with knowledge of facts material to the proceeding that are not protected from discovery by any applicable privilege, and of identified expert witnesses. Except in unusual cases, accordingly, depositions will be permitted only of individuals identified as hearing witnesses, including experts. All discovery depositions must be completed within the time set forth in § 263.24(d).
(b) Application. A party who desires to take a deposition of any other party's proposed witnesses, shall apply to the administrative law judge for the issuance of a deposition subpoena or subpoena duces tecum. The application shall state the name and address of the proposed deponent, the subject matter of the testimony expected from the deponent and its relevancy to the proceeding, and the address of the place and the time, no sooner than ten days after the service of the subpoena, for the taking of the deposition. Any such application shall be treated as a motion subject to the rules governing motions practice set forth in § 263.23.
(c) Issuance of subpoena. The administrative law judge shall issue the requested deposition subpoena or subpoena duces tecum upon a finding that the application satisfies the requirements of this section and of § 263.24. If the administrative law judge determines that the taking of the deposition or its proposed location is, in whole or in part, unnecessary, unreasonable, oppressive, excessive in scope or unduly burdensome, he or she may deny the application or may grant it upon such conditions as justice may require. The party obtaining the deposition subpoena or subpoena duces tecum shall be responsible for serving it on the deponent and all parties to the proceeding in accordance with § 263.11.
(d) Motion to quash or modify. A person named in a deposition subpoena or subpoena duces tecum may file a motion to quash or modify the subpoena or for the issuance of a protective order. Such motions must be filed within ten days following service of the subpoena, but in all cases at least five days prior to the commencement of the scheduled deposition. The motion must be accompanied by a statement of the reasons for granting the motion and a copy of the motion and the statement must be served on the party which requested the subpoena. Only the party requesting the subpoena may file a response to a motion to quash or modify, and any such response shall be filed within five days following service of the motion.
(e) Enforcement of a deposition subpoena. Enforcement of a deposition subpoena shall be in accordance with the procedures set forth in § 263.27(d).
(f) Conduct of the deposition. The deponent shall be duly sworn, and each party shall have the right to examine the deponent with respect to all non-privileged, relevant and material matters. Objections to questions or evidence shall be in the short form, stating the ground for the objection. Failure to object to questions or evidence shall not be deemed a waiver except where the grounds for the objection might have been avoided if the objection had been timely presented. The discovery deposition shall be transcribed or otherwise recorded as agreed among the parties.
(g) Protective orders. At any time during the taking of a discovery deposition, on the motion of any party or of the deponent, the administrative law judge may terminate or limit the scope and manner of the deposition upon a finding that grounds exist for such relief. Grounds for terminating or limiting the taking of a discovery deposition include a finding that the discovery deposition is being conducted in bad faith or in such a manner as to:
(1) Unreasonably annoy, embarrass, or oppress the deponent;
(2) Unreasonably probe into privilege, irrelevant or immaterial matters; or
(3) Unreasonably attempt to pry into a party's preparation for trial.
Title 12 published on 2012-01-01
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