Skip to main content

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).

Comments

  1. 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.

    ReplyDelete
  2. 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.

    ReplyDelete
  3. 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'".

    ReplyDelete
  4. 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.

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

    ReplyDelete
  6. 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.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

My Kind of Federal Judge!

Sure we have Scott Rothstein and his lovely Tom James clothier Romina Sifuentes, but Louisiana has ED LA judge G. Thomas Porteous Jr.:
A federal judge from Louisiana who had run up big gambling debts routinely solicited money and gifts from lawyers with cases before his court, Congressional investigators said Tuesday as the House opened impeachment hearings in the judge’s case. The judge, G. Thomas Porteous Jr. of Federal District Court, had more than $150,000 in credit card debt by 2000, mostly for cash advances spent in casinos, investigators said. Judge Porteous’s requests for cash became so frequent that one New Orleans lawyer said he started trying to dodge the judge.“He began to use excuses that he needed it for tuition, he needed it for living expenses,” the lawyer, Robert Creely, told a House Judiciary Committee task force. “I would avoid him until I couldn’t avoid him anymore.”
Mr. Creely said he and his law partner, Jacob Amato, gave Judge Porteous an estimated $20,000 o…

Honoring Richard C. Seavey

I drank a shit-ton of bourbon last night. Enough to float a battleship.

My head hurts. But not as much as my heart.

We lost another lawyer over the weekend. Not someone who will receive facebook accolades and other public claims of friendship and statements that he shaped and changed lives and careers. Just a guy who did the best he could with what he had. Every day. And he did very, very well to be the best person he could be. 
Richard Seavey was a profoundly private person. In his 49 years, he walked through more than his share of trials and tribulations, mostly asking for no help, leaning on no one. 

Richard was a fantastic lawyer. He could try a case. He could "litigate" a case. He could mediate and settle a case. He was nuanced. He bent but never broke. The blustery Miami lawyer never scared him. To the contrary, he found humor in it, studying it like a science project. Richard never got too high or too low. He was good at lawyering, but you got the f…

First Carnival Triumph Lawsuit on File!

It was filed in the SD FL (of course) and is pending before Judge Graham.

Check it out here.

The lawyer on the pleading is Marcus R. Spagnoletti.