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Witness Fees for Public Employees Increase


California’s State Assembly and Senate recently sent Assembly Bill (AB) 2612 to Governor Brown for approval. AB 2612 amends Government Code Section 68097.2 which establishes the fees payable to a public entity when a public employee, which includes fire fighters and peace officers, is called upon to testify at trial or deposition. The fee is presently set at $150 per day for each day the witness is required to appear. If AB 2612 is signed into law, the fee will increase to $275.00 per day.





Deposition Testimony To Be Limited To Seven Hours


California Assembly Bill (AB) 1875 adds a new section to the Code of Civil Procedure that would limit the amount of time a witness testifies at a deposition to seven hours. AB 1875 has passed through the Assembly and Senate and was sent to Governor Brown on September 11, 2012. The new Code of Civil Procedure Section 2025.290 does provide for the court to allow additional time for testimony if it is shown to be needed to fairly examine the deponent or if the deponent, or another person, impedes or delays the deposition process. This section will not apply if the parties to an action stipulate that a specific deposition is exempt, in the deposing of an expert witness, in a case designated as complex by the court pursuant to Rule 3.400 of California Rules of Court, in litigation involving employment law, in the deposition of a person who is designated as the most qualified person under Code of Civil Procedure Section 2025.230, or to any party who first appears after the deposition of a witness has concluded and upon notice of another deposition of that same witness.





Time Limits For A Motion To Set Aside And Vacate a Judgment and Motion For A New Trial Change


The existing Code of Civil Procedure Sections 659 and 663(a) establish the procedures by which a party may make a motion to set aside and vacate a judgement. Under the former law, a party intending to make such a motion was required to file with the clerk and serve upon the adverse party or parties a notice of his or her intention either before the entry of judgment, within 15 days of the date of mailing of notice of entry of judgment by the clerk of the court or service by any party of written notice of entry of judgement, or within 180 days after the entry of judgment. The power of the court to rule on a motion to set aside and vacate a judgment now shall expire 60 days from the mailing of notice of entry by the court clerk or 60 days after the service upon the moving party by any party of written notice of entry of the judgment, whichever is earlier. If notice has not been given, then the time limit is 60 days after filing of the first notice of intention to move to set aside and vacate the judgment. If the motion is not determined within the 60-day period, the effect shall be a denial of the motion without further order of the court. The amendments further specify that a motion to set aside and vacate a judgment is not determined until an order ruling on the motion is either entered in the permanent minutes of the court or signed by the judge and filed with the clerk.





A New Subsection To Code of Civil Procedure Section 2031.240 Is Added


Governor Brown recently signed Assembly Bill (AB) 1354 into law. AB 1354 amends the Code of Civil Procedure Section 2031.240 which outlines the proper manner to object to a request for production of documents. The new amendment, Section 2031.240(c)(1), reads as follows: If an objection is based on a claim of privilege or a claim that the information sought is protected work product, the response shall provide sufficient factual information for other parties to evaluate the merits of that claim, including, if necessary, a privilege log. The intent of the legislature with the passing of this bill is the codification of the concept of a privilege log as defined in California case law.




 
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