April 8, 2024

Cutting Through the Fog: Why 30(b)(6) Depositions Matter

The Rule 30(b)(6) deposition is overlooked or poorly used by many attorneys. But these special depositions can unlock organizational knowledge, cut through the fog of discovery, and pin down legal opponents early on.

What is a 30(b)(6) Deposition?

Before talking about a 30(b)(6) deposition, you first need to understand depositions generally. Depositions allow attorneys to question witnesses under oath prior to trial. This creates a record of testimony and locks in accounts. But 30(b)(6) depositions are different because the attorney isn’t questioning an individual on his or her own knowledge, but is actually deposing an organization or company through an individual about the company’s knowledge.

The process works like this: first, an attorney serves a notice on the organization that lists the topics to be discussed at the deposition. The organization must then designate and prepare one or more witnesses to testify on the company’s behalf. This designee speaks as the “voice” of the organization on the specified topics. The designated representatives testify about the collective knowledge of the organization, even if the information is beyond their own personal knowledge. The organization is required to properly prepare the designees to fully address the issues listed in the notice. Unlike a standard witness, Rule 30(b(6) designees speak for the organization, not just themselves.

Why 30(b)(6) Depositions Matter

Every litigator knows the frustration of receiving responses to discovery requests full of objections and evasive answers. Depositions are often the only way to cut through the fog and get clear answers. 30(b)(6) depositions uncover organizational knowledge that individuals may not possess. Since the testimony binds the company, it locks them into positions early on.

This information is provided by Harris Legal for general benefit, education, and interest. If you have a specific legal question, you should consult with an attorney.