The Standing Advisory Committee on the Rules of Civil and Appellate Procedure (SAC) solicits comments on proposed amendments to Mass. R. Civ. P. 30, Depositions Upon Oral Examination, and Mass. R. Civ. P. 30A, Audio-Visual Depositions and Audio-Visual Evidence. The proposed amendments would allow audio-visual depositions as a matter of right.  

The SAC's recommendation results from a request from the Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys (MATA) that the SAC consider amendments to the Rules of Civil Procedure that address audio-visual depositions. Under the current Mass. R. Civ. P. 30 and 30A, audio-visual depositions can be taken only when the parties agree or when the party seeking the audio-visual deposition obtains a court order. As reported by MATA, all the other states have recognized the advantages of audio-visual depositions and allow them as a matter of right either in lieu of, or in addition to, transcripts. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure have allowed such depositions without agreement of the parties or order of the court since 1993.  

The SAC proposes to amend Rules 30 and 30A to make them in line with the rules of other jurisdictions. The proposed amendments would  allow depositions to be recorded by stenographic or by stenographic and audio-visual means without leave of court or agreement of the parties. The party choosing to have the deposition recorded by audio-visual means would bear the cost of the audio-visual recording. A deponent would be given the opportunity to review the audio-visual recording along with the transcript.  

The proposed amendments appear at the links below, along with proposed Reporter's Notes. Comments should be directed to Christine P. Burak, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, One Pemberton Square, Boston, MA  02108 on or before February 28, 2017. Comments may also be emailed to christine.burak@sjc.state.ma.us. Comments received will be made available to the public.  

Mass. R. Civ. P. 30 - redline pdf format of Proposed Amendments to Mass. R. Civ. P. 30 - redline
Mass. R. Civ. P. 30 - clean pdf format of Proposed Amendments to Mass. R. Civ. P. 30
Mass. R. Civ. P. 30A - redline pdf format of Proposed Amendments to Mass. R. Civ. P. 30A - redline
Mass. R. Civ. P. 30A - clean pdf format of Proposed Amendments to Mass. R. Civ. P. 30A
Mass. R. Civ. P. 30 and 30A Draft Reporter's Notes pdf format of Mass. R. Civ. P. 30 and 30A Draft Reporter's Notes