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Speak for Yourself: The 30(b)(6) Deposition

Author: Joyce C. Wang, Demetrius Lambrinos, and Meredith L. Murphy – American Bar Association Article

…The rule has two basic requirements. First, the notice must describe with “reasonable particularity” the matters for examination. Second, once the organization receives the notice, it must educate the designee to testify about information known or reasonably available to the organization...
…The requesting party must designate with “painstaking specificity” areas that will be investigated…
…The purpose of the Rule 30(b)(6) witness is to represent the collective knowledge of the corporation. Rule 30(b)(6) designees do not testify as to their personal opinions and beliefs but rather present the corporation’s positions on the topics…
…In selecting an appropriate representative, the corporation should consider the following factors: (1) appearance, presentation, savvy, and intelligence of the designee; (2) existing knowledge that can be helpful or harmful; (3) access of the designee to privileged information; (4) availability and willingness to prepare; (5) testimonial experience; (6) likelihood that the representative will be deposed in a personal capacity; and (7) any paper trail leading back to the designee…

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Editor Comment:

This ABA article lays out the rule, boundaries and considerations for avoiding issues when your eDiscovery process is challenged. I sit in that hot seat for some of my long term retainer clients who have invested in mature eDiscovery infrastructure. I recommend that corporations and firms identify their designated deponent(s), the scope of their coverage and the resources needed to support their testimony.  The article brings up the privacy, privilege and exposure risks of putting your front line discovery counsel or litsupport staff up for hostile examination. Serous  preparation is required to educate even an expert in your complicated eDiscovery policies, protocols and systems. Unless the scope is severely limited, I will only take on that role in a proactive engagement.   So who sits in your eDiscovery hot seat?

The eDiscovery Hot Seat

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