Interstate Trucking: Using 30(b)(6) and Other Deposition Strategies
Rule 30(b)(6) requires an organization or corporation to designate and prepare a person to speak on its behalf regarding the areas in the notice of deposition. By designating this person, the organization declares that: (1) this is the most knowledgeable person about the subject matters in the notice of deposition; and (2) this person has the authority to speak on behalf of the organization regarding those subject matters. The 30(b)(6) deponent is the voice of the organization and thus their testimony represents the knowledge of the entity, not their own. By placing the burden of identifying responsive witnesses on the organization, Rule 30(b)(6) helps streamline the discovery process.
As the Advisory Committee on Civil Rules of the U.S. Courts explains, Rule 30(b)(6) has three purposes: (1) to reduce the pre-deposition difficulty a deposing lawyer encounters in determining whether a particular employee or agent is a “managing agent”; (2) to curb the practice of “bandying”, where an entity’s officers or managing agents are deposed in turn, but each denies knowledge of facts that are clearly known to people in the organization; and, (3) to assist entities that find an unnecessarily large number of their officers and agents being deposed by an attorney uncertain of whom in the organization has the relevant knowledge.
In trucking cases, issues to address in the depositions of 30(b)(6) corporate representatives and other defendant-employees include:
- Job history, experience, and training;
- Job responsibilities and day-to-day duties;
- Defendant trucking company’s organizational structure and operations (safety department, drivers, dispatch, operations, maintenance, CEO/President);
- Familiarity with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs);
- Fatigue, log books and hours-of-service;
- Trip documents and document retention policies;
- Screening, hiring and firing of drivers;
- Driver training; and
- Crash procedures and policies.
AAJ’s Interstate Trucking: Using 30(b)(6) and Other Deposition Strategies Litigation Packet explores these issues and more through deposition and trial testimony of defendant trucking company 30(b)(6) corporate representatives and other defendant-employees. This Litigation Packet features:
- Real-world examples of successful strategies for deposing defendant interstate trucking company employees and representatives.
- Sample case documents, including notices of deposition and outlines for deposing trucking company 30(b)(6) witnesses; summaries and transcripts of depositions of corporate representatives, CEOs/Presidents, and dispatch/operation employees
- AAJ Education speaker papers and Trial articles related to interstate commercial trucking litigation, recent changes to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30 with respect to depositions of corporate representatives, and general deposition and presentation strategies.