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What is a 30(b)(6) Deposition?

Under the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30(b)(6), a party may depose – or ask questions of – public or private corporations, partnerships, associations, or other entities. To do this, the party needs to subpoena the public or private corporations, partnerships, associations, or the other entity.  This subpoena – the notice demanding the deposition – needs to describe “with reasonable particularity the matters or  topics for examination.”

If your company is involved in a lawsuit, you might get deposed under these rules.

You yourself are not the subject of the deposition notice; It is the company. A 30(b)(6) deposition is an entity deposition, you might have several other coworkers from your organization offered to be deposed. In a 30(b)(6) matter, the organization involved must designate at least one or more director, officer, managing agent, or individual with sufficient knowledge who agrees to testify on the organization’s behalf. The organization may lay out the specific matters that the designated individuals will testify about, and both the organization and the party serving the lawsuit then “must confer in good faith about the matters for examination.”

If you will testify at a 30(b)(6) hearing, then you better be prepared to talk intelligently on the topics to which you are assigned. You will need to be prepared to speak with specificity and expertise. According to the rules, those who are designated to testify “must testify about information known or reasonably available to the organization.” The deposed organizations must choose the appropriate witnesses and for witnesses to be adequately prepared.

If a witness is not adequately prepared to testify, the serving party can attempt to prove that the witness is not knowledgeable on the issues or that they are not the correct person to be testifying. If you are asked to testify at a 30(b)(6) hearing, you should do your homework beforehand.

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