By: Nate Bjerke
Originally published in the Summer 2017 issue of Minnesota Trial: The Journal of the Minnesota Association for Justice
30(b)(6): Deposing Corporations, Organizations & the Government
All of us who have ever sued a corporation, the government or any organization have, rubbing our temples, stared at stacks of discovery responses filled with objection after objection, but no real substance. We wonder, “Why won’t they just give us what we asked for?” Eventually, you may start to wonder if it’s about you; if you’re not a good enough lawyer to make them turn over what the law says they should. And if you’re like me, you may even have days where you start to think your mom was right-you should have gone to dental school. If we’re being brutally honest with ourselves, the frustration that pains us comes from feeling powerless.
But we are far from powerless-the tools are in the Rules, we just need to know how to use them. I have yet to meet a lawyer who knows the rules and how to use them to get to the truth better than Mark Kosieradzki. In his book, Mark shares what he has learned and perfected through decades of hard work, determination, and legal genius to cut through the rubbish and get to the truth.
Mark has seen and solved every discovery problem we all face, from wiggly witnesses, to lawyers coaching deposition testimony, to hide-the-ball objections. This book tells you how to deal with all of it-professionally and effectively.
I don’t care if you are in your first or 50th year of practice, if you read this book, you will be infinitely better equipped to get the truth-telling evidence you need to fight for your clients-in other words, to take back the power. Mark’s book has become required reading for every trial lawyer in our firm.
Mark also shows us we have the power to get to the truth efficiently and cost-effectively. Gone are the days of needing to depose 20 corporate witnesses who may or may not offer testimony that binds the company. Using Mark’s techniques, you have the power to get straight answers from a single witness who binds the company.
Lawyers representing organizations, this book is for you too. After doing corporate work for 12 years, I understand the struggles and pressures to not only win, but to win cost-effectively and with minimal disruption to your client’s everyday business. Understanding 30(b)(6) and how you can use it to product one-rather than 10-witnesses saves your client’s time and money. Your clients will not have to produce every technician, staff person or employee who was involved in a process or decision for which they are being sued. Instead, they select the witness or witnesses to speak on behalf of the company. Mark’s book also summarizes the law on what is and is not proper conduct under the rules to help organizations avoid discovery fights that can lead to sanctions and other fights that don’t make our judges happy.
I read more books on trial practice and litigation than novels. I have one shelf that houses those precious few law books I read over and over, whenever I get stuck or need direction. Mark’s book, complete with all of my added dog-ears, tabs, notes, and highlights, has earned a permanent spot on that shelf.
Nate Bjerke is a Personal Injury attorney with TSR Injury Law in Minneapolis, MN. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
*Reprinted with permission of Minnesota Trial (Summer 2017) copyright © 2017 Minnesota Association for Justice www.mnaj.org