Clarifying Objections to ‘Form’ During a Deposition in a Nevada Lawsuit or Personal Injury Case (Demo)

During depositions, some inexperienced counsel simply object by stating “objection, form.” While some jurisdictions allow such a vague objection, Nevada law is clear that such an objection is improper.

Pursuant to Nevada Rule of Civil Procedure [NRCP] 32(d)(3)(B) “Errors and irregularities occurring at the oral examination in the manner of taking the deposition, in the form of the questions or answers, in the oath or affirmation, or in the conduct of parties, and errors of any kind which might be obviated, removed, or cured if promptly presented, are waived unless seasonable objection thereto is made at the taking of the deposition.” (Emphasis added).

Nothing about the text of NRCP 32 suggests that a lawyer preserves the universe of “form” objections simply by objecting to “form.” It is necessary to object at a deposition where the “form” of the question (not the nature of the question) is objectionable and a “seasonable” objection would provide an opportunity to correct the form. See e.g. In re Stratosphere Corp. Securities Litigation, 182 F. R. D. 614 (D. Nev. 1998). [Emphasis added]. In questions to which timely objections should be made during the deposition include those which are leading or suggestive; ambiguous or uncertain; compound; assume facts not in evidence; call for a narration; call for speculation or conjecture; or argumentative. Id.

Objection to “form” is a worthless objection as it does not provide any information to the deposing attorney as to the perceived deficiency in the question to allow correction or re-wording. As noted by In re Stratosphere, an appropriate objection gives the deposing attorney notice of the perceived problem with the question and an opportunity to correct it should they wish.

It is true that “many district courts persist in prohibiting lawyers from saying more than ‘objection to form,’ finding additional comment comprises an improper speaking objection.” See, e.g., Valencia v. City of Santa Fe, No. 12 cv 0137 (D. N.M. 2013). However, that is the rule in the district of New Mexico, not the rule in Nevada. In Nevada, our authority comes from In re Stratosphere, which discusses seasonable objections: It is necessary to object at a deposition where the “form” of the question (not the nature of the question) is objectionable and a “seasonable” objection would provide an opportunity to correct the form. Thus, pursuant to NRCP 32(d)(3)(B) and In re Stratosphere, a parties “form objections” would be unseasonable and improper.