San Francisco partner Heather Sager was quoted in Law360 in an article on California bill signed into law on Monday, Sept. 17, that limits depositions in many state civil cases to seven hours of total testimony.

The purpose of the legislation is to force attorneys to get to the point more quickly when interviewing witnesses, especially those who are ill or elderly.

A.B. 1875 is set to take effect Jan. 1, 2013; however, the seven-hour limit will not apply to expert witnesses, parties who are added to the action after a deposition has ended or employment cases.

Heather, a partner in the Labor & Employment Practice Group, noted that under the current system, parties often try to resolve any dispute over the length of depositions among themselves. By putting a time limit in place, she said, A.B. 1875 may erode collaborative efforts and could drive parties to file more motions with the court seeking to extend depositions.

“I’m not sure this legislation is going to streamline things for the court,” said Heather. “This might result in the court being bothered more by parties seeking to go beyond the 7-hour deposition limit.”

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