In Arkansas, the rules of Civil Procedure allow for the reading and signing of a deposition after the deposition has been transcribed. Either party (or the witness) can ask that the transcription be reviewed by the witness who was deposed, corrections made if there is a mistake, and signed. Arkansas Rule of Civil Procedure 30(d)(4)(e) states:
Review by Witness; Changes; Signing. If requested by the deponent
or a party before completion of the deposition, the deponent shall have
30 days after being notified by the officer that the transcript or
recording is available in which to review the transcript or recording
and, if there are changes in form or substance, to sign a statement
reciting such changes and the reasons given by the deponent for making
them. The officer shall indicate in the certificate prescribed by
subdivision (f) (l) whether any review was requested and, if so, shall
append any changes made by the deponent during the period allowed.
Our firm always requests a witness read and sign the deposition (even if signing only to state that there are no changes to be made). There are two main reasons for this request. First, the witness gets a chance to make sure he or she did not make any mistakes under the pressure of being examined. Second, it "seals" the testimony given, so that a witness for the other side cannot go back on his or her answer at trial and blame it on a "mistake."
So, by requesting a signing, our clients get the benefit of making sure their answers are as accurate as possible. And, the other side’s witnesses don’t get to claim that they made a "mistake" when we hold them accountable for their answers!