Defense Asks Court to Let the Witness Speak!

In a recent patent infringement case, a Rule 30(b)(6) deposition (of the person most knowledgeable or “PMK” of a corporation on defined topics) included over 300 objections by plaintiff’s lawyer.  The defense subsequently argued for additional time to re-depose the PMK, claiming that the large number of objections effectively “ran down the clock” and prevented a proper examination.

While the number was certainly big, the Judge ultimately sided with the plaintiffs, as the objections themselves were not improper and the defense failed to complain on the record at the time.  The Court cited Rule 32(d)(3)(B), indicating that an objection to an irregularity during a deposition is waived if

  1. “it relates to the manner of taking the deposition, the form of a question, or answer, the oath or affirmation, a party’s conduct, or other matters that might have been corrected at that time” and
  2. “is not timely made during the deposition.”

Although this particular circumstance relates to a PMK witness, the same rules for raising timely objections apply to other witnesses as well.  This related article, previously published in Los Angeles Lawyer magazine, provides additional tips for taking an effective expert witness deposition.

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