Be Vigilant When It Comes to Deposition Corrections
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A short, snappy decision issued on March 30 by the Appellate Division, Second Department, stimulated this article. The appellate panel, in Torres v. Board of Education of City of New York,1 held that errata sheets attempting to correct testimony in plaintiffs deposition transcript should have been struck when defendant moved to have them rejected. The corrections were deemed unacceptable because of shortcomings in meeting the requirements of CPLR 3116(a), the applicable state procedural rule, as well as governing case law. When errata sheets are ruled to be failures, what's left is the sworn "uncorrected" testimony. That result can prove to be fatal to a litigant's case if, for example, the version of the statement in the original transcript might justify summary judgment for the adversary. Several other calamitous consequences could ensue so failure to effect acceptable corrections can be, colloquially speaking, a "big deal."
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