We are approaching the forty-fifth “birthday” of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30(b)(6). The rule was adopted in 1970 with the goal of streamlining the discovery process. Hooker v. Norfolk S. Ry. Co., 204 F.R.D. 124 (S.D. Ind. 2001). When the rule was a sprightly 28 years old, an article titled “30(b)(6) Is Your Friend” was published in the newsletter of the ABA’s Tort and Insurance Practice Section. That article began as follows:
Two of toughest tasks that any party bearing the burden of proof has is to (1) find the information necessary to carry their burden and (2) to ensure that they possess all of the information which could serve to rebut or undermine the position which they are asserting. A powerful tool to accomplish these tasks is Fed. R. Civ. P. 30(b)(6).
The rule is now coming into middle age. This article examines whether it is still accomplishing the goals it was designed to achieve.