Dear DRI Colleagues:
The Advisory Committee on Civil Rules of the U.S. Courts is seeking comments on FRCP 30 (b)(6) which addresses the manner in which organizational depositions are conducted. DRI has a long and active history of participation in the civil rules making process, and invites your assistance as we gather information to give the Advisory Committee.
Members interested in helping DRI provide advice to the Advisory Committee about how Civil Rule 30 (b)(6) is working, and whether any changes to the Rule are necessary, should contact Jim McCrystal (firstname.lastname@example.org), chair of the Federal Rules Committee of DRI’s Center for Law and Public Policy.
The Advisory Committee has been working on this project for several months. There is no formally announced deadline for providing comments, but the Advisory Committee would like to hear from interested parties by August 1st, 2017.
At its April meeting, the Advisory Committee outlined several areas for consideration:
- Should organizational depositions be made a specific topic of discussion during the Rule 26 (f) conference?
- Does testimony in an organizational deposition bind a party like an admission under Rule 36, or is such testimony merely admissible over a hearsay objection? Can a party be barred from introducing contrary evidence with a Rule 37 argument that the witness was not properly prepared?
- Should the rule be amended to permit supplementation of the deposition much like an expert can supplement a report under Rule 26(e)(2)?
- Should contention questions be barred during organizational depositions? (*DRI Note: “contention questions” are generally defined as those which support or pertain to a party’s allegations/contentions in the pleadings.)
- Should the rule include explicit language authorizing pre-deposition objections? Must such objections be specific as in Rule 34(b)? Should the organization make a proffer of what it will provide despite the objection, and would they excuse performance absent a court order?
- What is the proper relationship between the Rule 30 limitation on duration and number of witnesses when an organizational deposition is taken with multiple witnesses?
Comments to the Advisory Committee do not need to be limited to these six topics, although these were specifically outlined by the Committee in its solicitation for commentary.
DRI is proud to be at the forefront of critical rule-making processes such as this. Your input and assistance is greatly appreciated.
John E. Cuttino