Turns Out You Need a Subpoena to Depose Somebody.

Sometimes it takes a federal judge to point out the obvious.

Take, for example, the situation where you want to depose a bunch of employees of the opposing party.

How do you do that?

Can you just notice them for deposition?

Turns out the answer is no:
Although these six employees may well be able to provide relevant information (or information likely to lead to admissible evidence), the Court nonetheless cannot compel Plaintiff to produce them for deposition. Only a party to the litigation may be compelled to give deposition testimony pursuant to a notice of deposition. If the party is a corporation, it’s deposition may be noticed pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30(b)(6), in which case the corporation must designate an individual to testify as the corporate representative. Alternatively, the party seeking a corporate deposition may identify a specific officer, director, or managing agent to be deposed and notice that individual under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30(b)(1). But, a corporate employee who does not qualify as an officer, director, or managing agent is not subject to deposition by notice.
How about that?

You learn something new every day!


  1. That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard a lawyer doing.

  2. I'll nitpick: "it's deposition" should be "its deposition". Otherwise it's a fine opinion.

  3. From my reading of the order, the plaintiff corp. did not object to have the depositions of its employees set by notice; it objected to the need for the depositions (relevancy) and the stacking of them.

    I have never had a case where the parties did not agree to set current employees by notice.

    Seems like the Mag. wanted to play gotcha, instead of addressing the issue presented to the Court by the motion to compel.

  4. We're a little short staffed today.

  5. But there shouldn't be a comma after "but" in the final sentence.

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  15. I can't help but find most of the comments funny, as many have no relations to what you just wrote. hehe.

    Anyway, the law is hard to understand if it's not explained to you properly. That's why in this situation, a highly qualified lawyer is your best chance to win this kind of case. I bet they'll find a way to have those employees in front of a jury.


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