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DRI Members: Corporate Representative Depositions Got You Down? Here’s What You Can Do About It

If you have been involved in a lawsuit where a corporation has been sued, you are likely familiar with the corporate representative deposition.  Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30(b)(6) allows parties to depose a corporation. The rule requires the party seeking the deposition to describe with reasonable particularity the subjects upon which it is asking the corporation to testify. The corporation must then designate one or more persons to testify on behalf of the corporation. Preparing and defending individuals to testify on behalf of a corporation can be tricky and the effects can last forever. Testimony given by an individual on behalf of a corporation can be used in other litigation years down the road.

If you feel the corporate representative deposition rules could use some improvement, you are not alone. The Defense Research Institute (DRI) is seeking input from its members as it prepares to provide advice to the Advisory Committee on Civil Rules of the U.S. Courts on FRCP 30(b)(6) depositions. DRI has recommended some topics, including whether Rule 30(b)(6) should be amended to allow supplementation after the deposition, or whether testimony provided during a corporate representative deposition should bind a party like an admission under Rule 36 or is merely admissible over a hearsay objection. If you are a DRI member and have comments to contribute, contact Jim McCrystal, chair of the Federal Rules Committee of DRI’s Center for Law and Public Policy, by August 1, 2017. And check out DRI’s list of topics of concern here.