Depositions of an organization’s representative, under F.R.C.P. 30(b)(6) or comparable state rules, can present major challenges for a company and its counsel to (i) identify one or more witnesses to respond to often very broad multi-topic notices; and (ii) prepare the witness(es) to testify across all topics. This is made more challenging by the fact that you don’t know in advance precisely what questions will be asked on each topic—or even what topics the deposition will focus on. Most counsel who defend 30(b)(6) depositions have had the experience of spending multiple hours—or even multiple days—to ensure that a witness is prepared to testify on all of the designated topics, only to have the deposing party not even touch on some of those topics in the actual deposition.
Nevertheless, a discovery opinion in the case of Oro BRC4, LLC v. Silvertree Apartments, Civil Action 2:19-cv-4907, 2:19-cv-5087 (E.D. Ohio, June 10, 2021) reminds us of the serious consequences and sanctions that can result if a witness is not reasonably prepared on some of the noticed topics. You can check out the Exterro Case Law Alert covering this issue, including my commentary, here.