January 07, 2021 Top Story

Meet and Confer Now Required for Rule 30(b)(6) Depositions

Rule amendment seeks to streamline depositions of corporate representatives

By Katherine G. Vazquez

Lawyers seeking to depose corporate representatives must meet and confer before the deposition beginning December 1, 2020, when an amendment to Rule 30(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure goes into effect. ABA Section of Litigation leaders explain that while this change codifies existing best practice, it may have unintended effect of increasing discovery motions.

The amendment may lead to less contentious corporate representative depositions

The amendment may lead to less contentious corporate representative depositions

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The Parameters of the New Meet and Confer Requirement

Rule 30(b)(6) governs the process for depositions of corporate representatives. It provides that a party looking for the person most knowledgeable to testify on behalf of an organization is to issue a notice to the organization “describ[ing] with reasonable particularity the matters for examination.” In turn, the responding party is to designate one or more representatives “to testify on its behalf,” “about information known or reasonably available to the organization.”

While those requirements remain unchanged, the amendment now also mandates that “before or promptly after the notice or subpoena is served, the serving party and the organization must confer in good faith about the matters of examination.” Additionally, for parties seeking the deposition testimony of an organization that is not a party to the case, the subpoena “must advise a nonparty organization of its duty to confer with the serving party and to designate each person who will testify.”

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