Much has changed since the first edition of 30(b)(6): Deposing Corporations, Organizations, and the Government was published. There is a new amendment to Rule 30(b)(6) that establishes the need to “meet and confer,” and numerous states have amended their own rules or added different provisions. And just as important, defense lawyers have invented new ways to try and evade and obstruct your ability to get to the truth.
This second edition addresses the new rule change, provides updates to state laws, discusses how to defeat the latest attempts to evade disclosures of the evidence you seek with Rule 30(b)(6), offers over two hundred new citations, and has new and updated chapters and appendices—including sections have been expanded to identify the evolving jurisprudence concerning post COVID-19 pandemic logistics.
After all, a great case still needs great evidence. The best techniques in case framing, storytelling, and presentation mean nothing in the face of evasive tactics that hide the necessary information you have a right to see. In 30(b)(6): Deposing Corporations, Organizations, and the Government, Mark Kosieradzki provides the powerful answers you need to get that evidence.
Using detailed and practical examples, Kosieradzki breaks down Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30(b)(6) and offers the techniques you need to use it to its greatest potential. This book is your key to navigating the bureaucratic maze and building a substantial record of the defense’s words and documents to hold them accountable in front of a jury. It offers advice on communicating with cagey representatives, dealing with the defense’s obstacles, and performing effective and efficient 30(b)(6) depositions in all fifty states.
For years, advocates have quibbled over the thirty-eight deceptively simple words of Rule 30(b)(6) and asked themselves, “How do I depose something that isn’t a person?” 30(b)(6): Deposing Corporations, Organizations, and the Government is the definitive tool you need to cut through the smokescreens and end the runaround once and for all.
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Preface to the Second Edition
Foreword to the Second Edition by John Romano
- Deposing Organizations
- Building a Record
- Details of Rule 30(b)(6): Deposing Organizations by Issue Designation
- Rule 30(b)(6) Logistics: Location, Duration, and Number of Depositions
- Deposing Officers, Directors, and Managing Agents: 30(b)(1) Depositions
- Deposing Low-Level Employees
- Crafting the 30(b)(6) Notice: The Requesting Party’s Duties
- Scope of the 30(b)(6) Notice: What Can You Ask About?
- Rule 30(b)(6) Foundation Depositions
- Electronic Discovery
- Process-Based Discovery: Identifying Incomplete Discovery Using 30(b)(6)
- Duty to Attend
- Duty to Prepare
- Scope of Inquiry
- Deposition Obstruction
- Motions to Compel and Sanctions
- Binding Effect
- Changing the Testimony
- Using 30(b)(6) Testimony at Trial
Appendix A: Rule 30(b)(6) in All Fifty States
Appendix B: Sample 30(b)(6) Notice
Appendix C: Foundation Deposition Notice
Appendix D: Rule 30(b)(6) Depositions for Email
Appendix E: Contention 30(b)(6) Deposition
Appendix F: Corporate Structure 30(b)(6) Deposition
Appendix G: 30(b)(6) Federal Rule Change History
IndexAbout the Author
What Legal Leaders Are Saying
— John Romano, past president of the Florida Justice Association and editor of Anatomy of a Personal Injury Lawsuit
It’s malpractice to not study this and Mark’s book is the gold standard.
— David Walker, emeritus professor of law, former dean of Drake Law School
When a party is an institution, discovering facts is often laced with obstruction, evasion, and frustration. Rule 30(b)(6) offers real assistance but only if well understood. Mark Kosieradzki’s book provides an engaging, accessible, and thorough exploration of the rule and explains essential steps for using it. Mark’s book will likely be seen as intended for plaintiffs’ lawyers, but it offers insight for defense attorneys and would be a good read for law students too.
— Amanda Francis, board member of the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association, member of the Colorado Bar Association’s Litigation Committee
For years, I have followed Mark Kosieradzki around the country to attend his presentations on 30(b)(6), eagerly awaiting the release of this book. His writing and teaching style are content-rich but accessible to even a novice attorney. A well-planned and well-executed 30(b)(6) can win a case, and the techniques I learned from Mark allowed me to take 30(b)(6) depositions at a skill level far beyond my years of practice and win my first civil jury trial. You could spend decades trying to harness the power of 30(b)(6) on your own, or you could read this book.
— Carl Bettinger, author of Twelve Heroes, One Voice
If your case involves a party with a name ending in ‘Inc.,’ ‘Corp.,’ ‘PA,’ ‘LLC,’ ‘Partnership,’ ‘Trust,’ ‘Dept. of,’ ‘Gov’t. of,’ or if knowledge from any of these bears on your case, (virtually any case being litigated today), this book is pure gold. Kosieradzki’s 30(b)(6) is not only plainly written with straightforward advice, examples, and supporting case law, but a delight to read. I wish he had written it twenty-five years ago.
— Bob Pottroff, former president of the Kansas Association for Justice and former chair of the American Association for Justice Railroad Litigation Group
Deposing a corporate representative is one of the most powerful tools available to a trial lawyer. Mark Kosieradzki’s book is the owner’s manual that shows you the correct way to use it. WARNING: Failure to Follow the Manual May Result in Serious Damage to Your Case!
— Jim Bartimus, fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers
Mark’s book is an absolute must-read for every lawyer, whether a beginning trial lawyer or a seasoned practitioner who is undertaking a 30(b)(6) deposition. A brilliant work with something of value on virtually every page. A road map to success.
— John Taussig, co-chair of the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association Bad Faith seminar, graduate of the Spence Trial Lawyer’s College
Far too many lawyers practice law using folklore. This book helps those of us who want to read and understand the rules. There aren’t many silver bullets, but this book is one.
— Steve Langer, past president of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association
Mark has spent twenty years developing a 30(b)(6) roadmap to make it easier and more efficient to use these depositions as part of our discovery. Anyone who deposes corporations, organizations, or the government should read this book.
— Render Freeman, faculty member for the American Association for Justice and graduate of the Spence Trial Lawyer’s College
Mark has taught me how to get documents that the defense would never produce. By speaking directly to the source, I have found boxes of unproduced documents and neutralized objections before the defense can utter them. They are helpless. I use these tools with every commercial defendant and have generated incredible results for my clients. I am forever indebted to Mark for teaching me how to be a ‘Rebel with a Kos.’
— Ken Connor, trial lawyer with verdicts totaling over $200 million and has tried cases from Florida to California
In over forty years of law practice, I’ve never read a better practice manual. Mark Kosieradzki has distilled decades of hard work and experience in this single volume. Build off Mark’s experience and improve your results when litigating with corporate or governmental entities that want to play ‘hide the ball.’
— Julie Braman Kane, president of the American Association for Justice, past chair of the National College of Advocates
In 30(b)(6), Mark Kosieradzki provides a unique approach and a roadmap for truly fact-finding corporate and government depositions. Over more than thirty years, Mark has refined the art of the 30(b)(6) corporate representative deposition. His well-honed techniques will make you a better advocate for your clients. I have been eagerly waiting for this book.
— Judge James Rosenbaum, United States District Judge (Ret.), former Chief Judge of the District of Minnesota
Lawyers often—and wrongly—think of the federal rules as restraints. They are wrong to do so. When understood and prudently applied, the rules provide flexible, economical, and effective ways to marshal the facts and bring the law to bear on a contested case. A hard-litigated case is a real fight, but it’s a structured fight. The rules provide the structure. Mark Kosieradzki shows you how Rule 30(b)(6) cuts through corporate or governmental fog. He teaches the steps you need to get to the facts and the people who know them. His book provides lawyers with powerful tools to build and win their cases.
— Zoe Littlepage, member of the Inner Circle of Advocates and recipient of the American Association for Justice’s Pursuit of Justice Award, 2015
Thorough, detailed, and comprehensively researched, this book reminds every lawyer that 30(b)(6) depositions are the overlooked and misunderstood gem of discovery. Kosieradzki opens his briefcase, hands you his notes, and then explains in detail exactly how to use them to defeat the enemy. Don’t reinvent the wheel: Kosieradzki’s wheel is better and already battle tested.
— Robyn Wishart, practices across Canada specializing in spine and brain injury
Canadians, don’t be fooled by the title. American and Canadian discovery rules are the same. The computer systems that store documents in America are the same as those in Canada. I have been using Mark’s techniques in Canada for years to get information I would never otherwise have uncovered.
— Andrew M. Pardieck, associate professor of law, Southern Illinois University School of Law
Practitioners have long recognized the power of a 30(b)(6) deposition. Even if the opposing party comes empty-handed, a well-taken 30(b)(6) deposition can lead to the discovery of dispositive facts. Mark Kosieradzki’s work offers practical advice for ensuring that your 30(b)(6) deposition lives up to its potential.
— Joe Fried, founder of the Academy of Truck Accident Attorneys and faculty member of the Spence Trial Lawyer’s College
In truck crash litigation, the 30(b)(6) deposition is one of the most potentially powerful weapons in the plaintiff lawyer’s arsenal—but only if you issue notices, prepare for them, and take them properly. Mark has been the go-to authority on 30(b)(6) depositions for years and with this book he shares his innovative work with us all. Look out world.
— Deborah Nelson, past president of the Washington State Association for Justice
I’ve worked with Mark and seen first-hand the power of his techniques to force corporate defendants to answer questions they don’t want to answer. This book is an excellent step-by-step guide so that you, too, can cut through the evasiveness of corporate wrongdoers. You need this book. Your clients need you to have this book.
— Phillip Miller, author of Advanced Depositions Strategy and Practice
Mark Kosieradzki’s book covers the law and strategy for dealing with every possible question about 30(b)(6) depositions. No matter how obstructive the opposition, this book gives you the path and the strategy to prevail.
— Paul Scoptur, author of Advanced Depositions Strategy and Practice
Mark Kosieradzki has taken the rather mundane 30(b)(6) corporate representative deposition and created one of the most important books for plaintiff lawyers in the last twenty years. Using Mark’s techniques will bring you a treasure trove of information that the generic 30(b)(6) deposition and requests for production would never get. This is a ‘must have’ book for all plaintiffs’ lawyers.
— Mike Steenson, director of law review, Larry and Christine Bell Distinguished Professorship, Mitchell Hamline School of Law
Mark Kosieradzki, an outstanding trial lawyer, wrote this book with his almost four decades of experience. This comprehensive and easily readable book combines illustrations, examples, and summaries; legal analysis of the nuances involved in the rule; and is supported by detailed authority.
— David Ball, author of David Ball on Damages
Mark Kosieradzki’s new book not only reveals how to spell his last name, but also walks you through the entirety of 30(b)(6) depositions. He focuses on the technical basics and purposes of these essential depositions, and guides you to using them skillfully. If you’re new at it, Mark’s thorough book takes you from zero to sixty with extraordinary clarity. If you think you know all about 30(b)(6)s, Mark’s book will still fill in gaps you don’t even know you have. This is not just another strategy book; it is an essential primer of the technical skills that will help you maximize the benefits of a well-executed 30(b)(6).
— Randi McGinn, author of Changing Laws, Saving Lives and president of the Inner Circle of Advocates
Tired of corporate defendants giving you the runaround and producing nothing useful in discovery? Mark Kosieradzki’s book is the key to unlocking the vault where defendants hide the secret documents you need to win your case. This book is an invaluable resource you will use every time you do a 30(b)(6) deposition.
— Sach Oliver, member of the Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association
This book allows every plaintiffs’ lawyer in any state or jurisdiction to become an expert on taking corporate representatives’ depositions. Stop the wild hunt for the right witness.
— Patrick Malone, member of Inner Circle of Advocates, coauthor of Rules of the Road and author of The Fearless Cross-Examiner
Long before a presidential candidate told us, ‘Corporations are people too,’ the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure required corporations to testify through a single human voice. This rule blocks corporations from putting up a thicket of know-nothing witnesses who hide the corporation’s knowledge behind ‘not me.’ The great weapon that is 30(b)(6) finally has a great explainer and brilliant teacher in Mark Kosieradzki. All advocates for people up against big entities owe heartfelt thanks to Mark for opening his toolbox to the rest of us.