The Maine Rules of Civil Procedure make it easy to depose witnesses in Maine for use in a civil case pending in a foreign jurisdiction. Rule 30(h) sets forth the process. Out-of-state counsel must retain local counsel in Maine to assist, but from there the process is relatively straightforward. First, local counsel will submit an Application to the court for approval to issue and serve a subpoena on the Maine witness. The Application is filed in Superior Court in the same manner as a Complaint in the county where the witness is believed to reside. The Application should be captioned like the underlying out-of-state case. In addition, the Application must include the following:
- The name and location of the court where the foreign action is pending;
- The title and docket of the foreign action in the court where pending;
- A brief statement of the nature of the foreign action;
- The rule(s) or provisions of the laws of the foreign jurisdiction which authorize the taking of the deposition;
- The time and place for taking each deposition;
- The name and address of each person to be examined;
- A designation of the materials to be produced by the deponent, if any; and
- A statement that timely and adequate notice of the taking of the deposition has been provided to all opposing parties.
The Application must be signed by a member of the Maine bar. Once the Application is approved by the court, local counsel can sign the subpoena as an officer of the court and arrange to have the subpoena served. The deposition itself can be taken by counsel of record in the out-of-state case without the assistance or attendance of local counsel, and the rules of the other state apply. However, local counsel can be a valuable asset with respect to arranging a court reporting service to attend the deposition, and finding a location to hold the deposition. In Maine, we are often able to use local law offices due to the collegial nature of the Bar in our state.
In our experience, there are often time constraints and other extenuating circumstances that make depositions for use in foreign jurisdictions time sensitive. In those instances, you need local counsel familiar with the process who can help you act quickly. If you have questions or need assistance with a deposition for use in a foreign jurisdiction, please don’t hesitate to call Braden Clement and the general litigation team at Skelton, Taintor & Abbott.
This article is not legal advice but should be considered as general guidance in the area of personal injury law. You can contact us at 207.784.3200. Skelton Taintor & Abbott is a full service law firm providing legal services to individuals, companies, and municipalities throughout Maine. It has been in operation since its founding in 1853.