Behrens and Appel Discuss Proposed Rule 30(b)(6) Amendment in WLF Opinion Letter

Partner and Co-Chair of Shook’s Public Policy Practice Group Mark Behrens and Of Counsel Chris Appel discuss the proposed amendment to Rule 30(b)(6) in “Federal Civil Rules Committee Drops Divisive Corporate Witness ID Duty,” published in the Washington Legal Foundation Legal Opinion Letter, May 17, 2019. If approved, the amendment to the rule governing depositions of corporations and other organizations would require the serving party and the organization to “confer in good faith about the matters for the organization.” 

However, the Committee did not include language that would have required the parties to confer about the identity of each person who would testify for the organization, a proposal that drew sharp opposition from defense bar interests. 

The authors describe the proposed amendment as a “modest improvement to current practice” that should be adopted, but note that defense counsel will likely be disappointed that the Committee did not implement other suggestions for improvement, including a clear procedure for objecting to notice under the Rule.