For lawyers new to depositions, it’s common to wonder what happens to the objections that are made during the proceeding. They are reserved for ruling at a later time, but exactly when and how?
Objections made during depositions are typically ruled upon by the trial court either just before trial or sometime during trial at a time when the jury isn’t present. In many jurisdictions, there is a procedure that ensures the parties will work out as many of the objections as possible before the court gets involved. In federal court, for example, each side typically designates the portions of depositions they want to use in their pre-trial package. The other side then states its objections to these designations. Objections to the form of particular questions (leading, vagueness, compound, etc.) will be stated during the depositions; other evidentiary objections (hearsay, prejudicial, improper opinion, etc.) might not be raised until the time for the pre-trial submissions.
After the parties have tried to narrow the objections as much as possible, the judge gets involved by ruling on the remaining objections, typically on the record while both sides are present to argue their respective positions. In a lengthy trial with many depositions, the court might not take up the objections to a deposition until a time shortly before the deposition will actually be used.
As the court makes its rulings, the lawyers for both sides take careful notes so that properly-edited deposition transcripts or videos can be prepared to present to the jury.