Monday, October 26, 2015

Attention Corporate Reps: You Can Now Read From Your Lawyer's Script If You Do So Transparently!


Corporate rep depositions under Rule 30(b)(6) can be such nightmares to either prepare for or defend.

The Rule seems to invite disputes over scope of knowledge, levels of preparedness, areas of examination, and are minefields when over-caffeinated/under-ethicized lawyers let their inner tantrums come out and play.

So, what do you all think of Magistrate Judge Lynch's recent order dealing with a corporate rep's use of a lawyer-prepared "script" or "note" to read complicated testimony into the record?

Paragraphs 19-24 of the order address this issue (though the entire opinion is worth a read).

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

WTF????

Anonymous said...

I don't see anything controversial about this. I've had it happen. As long as the other side is permitted to see what the corporate rep is relying on or referring to (as was the case here, the "script" was actually made an exhibit to the deposition) there is nothing improper.

Anonymous said...

unreadable

Anonymous said...

What you get when this happens is the lawyer's testimony not the witness', since the lawyer writes exactly what the witness reads in this scenario. Not exactly what 30b6 had in mind, disclosed or not.

Anonymous said...

Yes, but the whole point of a 30b6 depo is that you are getting the corporation's "official" position/testimony, you are not probing the witness about the witness's personal knowledge. The witness is really just a mouthpiece for the corporation. That seems to especially be the case here, where the questions were "contention" questions that touch on legal issues, i.e. "what facts do you [the corporation] contend support affirmative defense 'X'".

Anonymous said...

from Rumpole's blog:

"Stop thief" shouted Ihekwaba. Immediately twenty-five people walking outside the courthouse, including three defense attorneys, froze in their tracks.

Too freaking funny. The guy should write for a living.

Anonymous said...

Then why have a live witness? Just do a deposition by written questions.

Anonymous said...

Because through followup questions, questions probing the basis for the company's position, questions re potential witnesses with knowledge about the same topics, etc., you can often get some pretty damaging concessions, locate additional evidence, and frequently stick the corporation with some damaging admissions that will be binding on the corporation, including "I don't knows" that can be very helpful at trial.