Anyone ever done a deposition in Massachusetts?

Looks like it’s unique to MA.

Someone who is representing themselves in a lawsuit reached out asking about it.

Any advice appreciated.

It’s not unique to MA; VT allows it too. I’ve had some fairly extensive discussions with a stenographer who does these for a living; she is also a VT notary because VT doesn’t license legal stenographers, so if she weren’t a notary, she wouldn’t be able to do depositions.

It’s a pretty involved profession. Even if you didn’t use a stenography machine, you would have some serious record keeping obligations. I wouldn’t attempt it unless I got extensive training. You would want a different kind of insurance too.

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Hi Ashton, what you said is what my gut says: Don’t do it. As MA will be allowing remote notarizations soon and as business will dry up, I would like to explore this in more detail. I guess this goes out to everyone: Does anyone have any contact or information in regard to doing this? It’s certainly something I would be interested in exploring. Thx!

I doubt you can ‘record a deposition’ as a notary, I have done a few ‘phone depositions’, but all that involves is traveling to deponent, ID them, wait for call from Court & when it comes, you state your name, notary Comm.#, say you’ve ID’d them via (whatever was used) and then verbally ‘swear deponent in’…and leave. Usually hired & paid by law firm. I’m in Arkansas–and AR law says has to be a ‘court reporter’.

I haven’t investigated the rules for NH, but the relevant rule in Vermont is Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 28 which states in part

(1) Within the State of Vermont. Within the state depositions shall be taken before a justice of the peace or notary public or a person appointed by the court.

This is what I’m not sure of - here’s my question

“depositions shall be taken before a justice of the peace or notary public or person appointed by the court” - true as IME depositions are sworn to by the deponent as true and correct and they are sworn in to tell the truth - however, can a notary CONDUCT the deposition? I don’t believe they can. I haven’t found anything that says they can, but honestly have not looked very hard for that - I checked the MA statutes briefly and didn’t find anything. I believe OP is looking for someone to conduct the deposition, and IMO that’s not a notary.


Other parts of the Vermont court rules refer to the Rule 28 I quoted as controlling who is the officer before whom the deposition is taken. These other rules describe the duties of the officer, such as recording the deposition stenographically or electronically, administering oaths, announcing the name of the witness and everyone present at the beginning of the session, announcing the end of the session, sealing up the recording in an envelope and delivering it to the court, etc. It’s clear the officer described in Rule 28 is in overall charge of the deposition.

@ashton yes, maybe in VT - I did not see this for MA - maybe I missed it?