Richard Morgan, Kyle Nelson Co-Author DRI Article On Corporate Representative Depositions
Minneapolis, Minn. (April 19, 2022) - Minneapolis Partner Richard G. Morgan and Associate Kyle D. Nelson recently published an article, titled "Avoiding Gold Mines and Land Mines," in the Spring 2022 issue of DRI's In-House Defense Quarterly. The article, which Messrs. Morgan and Nelson co-wrote with Emily Dollerschell, in-house counsel at Land O'Lakes, Inc., discusses various strategies for successfully handling corporate representative depositions as well as recent developments in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30(b)(6).
The authors open the article by acknowledging the importance of corporate representative depositions, noting, "The corporate representative deposition can, and often will, impact the trial outcome, settlement evaluations, and the company brand." The authors then review the elements of Rule 30(b)(6) and advise, among other things, that "practitioners should take steps up front to limit the scope of a given witnesses' testimony and avoid an unwarranted fishing expedition." In addition, the authors discuss the timing of corporate witness depositions, pointing out the potential benefits of taking an early deposition to "prematurely expose the theories and points that the parties will seek to utilize. . . . put[ting] the matter on course for an early, less costly, and more favorable resolution."
The article also provides suggestions for best practices during the meet and confer process, witness preparation, and how to combat reptile tactics. Finally, the authors review strategies for the deposition itself, explaining that counsel should be vigilant throughout the session, conferring with the witness frequently and objecting when appropriate. The article closes by describing how to defend against the kinds of attacks that plaintiffs' counsel have levied against companies of late via public relations campaigns, legislative actions, and social media.
Mr. Morgan is a member of Lewis Brisbois' Products Liability Practice. With a national reputation for his aggressive defense of high-exposure litigation, his practice encompasses product liability, commercial, class action, and intellectual property litigation involving chemical and electronic products, drug and medical devices, as well as food products and toxic torts for a host of Global 500 companies and industry leaders.
Mr. Nelson is a member of Lewis Brisbois' Products Liability, Life Sciences, and Complex Business & Commercial Litigation Practices. He helps defend clients and manufacturers across a wide range of industries in state and federal courts, including entities in the medical device, life sciences, consumer product, and agribusiness fields.
You may read the full In-House Defense Quarterly article here (begins on page 30).