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17.01 Interrogatories

On the first occasion that interrogatories are submitted to any other party, each party may file a maximum of thirty-five (35) interrogatories. If an interrogatory is identified by one number, but is divided into several parts whereby each part requests a specific item of information, each part shall be counted as a separate interrogatory in determining the limitations under this Rule. Second or subsequent sets of interrogatories can be filed only upon leave of Court and for good cause shown.

17.02 Conduct at Depositions

(a) Witnesses, parties, and counsel shall conduct themselves at depositions in a temperate, dignified, and responsible manner.

(b) The following guidelines for the taking of depositions emphasize the expectations as to certain issues and are intended to supplement Ohio R. Civ. P. 26 and 30:

(1) Scheduling. Counsel are expected to make a timely and good faith effort to confer and agree to schedules for taking of depositions. Unless counsel otherwise agree, depositions shall be conducted during normal business hours. Except where good cause exists, no Notice of Deposition or Subpoena shall issue prior to a scheduling conference with opposing counsel. Counsel for the deponent shall not cancel a deposition or limit the length of a deposition without stipulation of the examining counsel or order of the court.

(2) Decorum. Opposing counsel and the deponent shall be treated with civility and respect. Ordinarily the deponent shall be permitted to complete an answer without interruption by counsel.

(3) Objections. Objections shall be limited to (A) those which would be waived if not made pursuant to Ohio R. Civ. P. 32(D)(3)(a) and (b), (B) those necessary to assert a privilege, (C) those necessary to enforce a limitation on evidence directed by the court or (D) those to present a motion under Ohio R. Civ. P. 26 (C) or 30 (D). No other objections shall be raised during the course of the deposition.

(4) Speaking Objections. Counsel may interpose an objection by stating “objection” and the legal grounds for the objection. An objection to evidence during the taking of a deposition shall be stated concisely and in a non-argumentative and non-suggestive manner. Speaking objections which refer to the facts of the case or suggest an answer to the deponent are improper and shall not be made in the presence of the deponent.

(5) Instructions Not to Answer. Counsel shall not instruct a witness not to answer a question except:

(A) to preserve a privilege; or,

(B) in response to a question that is:

(i) not relevant; and,

(ii) is not likely to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence; and,

(iii) counsel instructing the witness not to answer has a good faith, reasonable belief that his or her position will be sustained by the judicial officer with jurisdiction over the case and can explain in detail and on the record at the time he or she instructs the witness not to answer the basis or bases for the instruction not to answer.

If a Motion to Compel, or other similar motion, is filed by the party whose counsel asked the question of the witness and it is ultimately determined by the court that the question at issue shall be answered by the witness, then counsel who advised the witness not to answer the question shall pay the reasonable fees of the examining counsel incurred in obtaining the court's ruling that the question shall be answered.

(6) Witness Preparation. Preparation of the deponent will be completed prior to the time set for the taking of the deposition. While a question is pending, counsel for the deponent and the deponent shall not confer except for the purpose of deciding whether to assert a privilege.

(7) Documents. Examining counsel shall provide counsel for the deponent with the copies of all documents shown to the deponent during the deposition.

(c) Where a witness, party, or counsel engages in disruptive or irresponsible behavior at the deposition, the court may order sanctions or other remedies.

(d) The court may limit the time permitted for the conduct of a deposition, but shall allow additional time consistent with the Ohio R. Civ. P. 26 and 30 if needed for a fair examination of the deponent or if the deponent or another party impedes or delays the examination. If the court finds such and impediment, delay, or other conduct that has frustrated the fair examination of the deponent, it may impose upon the persons responsible an appropriate sanction, including reasonable costs and attorney fees incurred by any parties as a result thereof.


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