"The Designated Hitter"—Deposing a Corporation’s Designated Witness Under Federal Rule 30(b)(6) or Virginia Rule 4:5(b)(6)(Online Seminar)

MCLE Credits: 2.0
Ethics Credits Included: 0.0

MCLE Credit: 2.0 (Ethics: 0.0)
Live-Interactive Credit: 0.0
Designation Credit: 2.0 Trial Practice/Litigation (Designations Information)
Price: $149 (Includes a downloadable audio version.)
Viewable Through: 05/31/2022


A pre-recorded streaming video replay of the May 2019 webcast, "The Designated Hitter"—Deposing a Corporation’s Designated Witness Under Federal Rule 30(b)(6) or Virginia Rule 4:5(b)(6).

Topics Covered

You’ve sued a corporation. It’s time for depositions. You know what you want to ask, but you don’t know who in the corporation knows the answers. Learn how to prepare a deposition notice under Federal Rule 30(b)(6) or Virginia Rule 4:5(b)(6) and how the corporation should respond.

  • Understand the black letter rules for these depositions
  • Learn how to best select, prepare, and question the corporate designee
  • Discover tips and best practices for both the plaintiffs and defendants

Formerly, the task of obtaining information by deposition from a corporation (or other organization) required that the deposing party name an officer or managing agent as the witness. This created the twofold problem that the named person might not have this information or that whoever did know it might not be an officer or managing agent. Federal Rule 30(b)(6) and Virginia Rule 4:5(b)(6) have remedied this problem by allowing a party instead to describe what it wants to know, not who knows it, leaving it to the corporation to select its witnesses and to adequately prepare them to testify. The deposition notice must describe matters to be covered “with reasonable particularity,” but the rule does not limit the number of topics that may be covered in a single notice.

This program will examine the tactics and pitfalls in the use of Federal Rule 30(b)(6) and Virginia Rule 4:5(b)(6) from the perspectives of counsel for plaintiff and defendant, to include:

  • The “reasonable particularity” requirement
  • Selecting persons to testify
  • Use of outside persons to testify
  • Preparing the witnesses
  • Binding effect of testimony
  • Claiming lack of corporate knowledge of the subject
  • Sanctions for noncompliance
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James F. Neale, McGuireWoods / Charlottesville

James Neale’s varied trial practice focuses on high-exposure tort cases in courts across the country.  He has substantial mass tort and class action litigation experience and currently serves as co-chair of his firm's food-borne illness litigation practice group.  His trial experience includes personal injury, products liability, premises liability, transportation, pharmaceutical, and ERISA cases.  He has won verdicts in both state and federal court trials.  In addition, Mr. Neale has defended clients in a variety of other adversarial arenas, including high-exposure cases before the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation and numerous arbitration panels. He has briefed and argued appeals to the Virginia Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th and the 11th Circuits, and the full Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission.

M. Bryan Slaughter, MichieHamlett / Charlottesville

Bryan Slaughter concentrates his practice on complex personal injury cases.  His practice areas include products liability, cases involving traumatic brain injury, serious automobile and truck accidents, premises liability, and medical malpractice.  He is a member of the Virginia and West Virginia state bars.  He practices throughout Virginia, and has also tried cases in North Carolina, New York, and West Virginia. Mr. Slaughter graduated from the University of Virginia in 1991, and the Washington and Lee University School of Law in 1997.  He has served on the Board of Governors for the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association since 2001, and has chaired numerous VTLA committees as well as its products liability section.  He is a member of the Boyd-Graves conference, is a faculty member at the National Trial Advocacy College, and has lectured and written on various topics involving products liability and personal injury law. Mr. Slaughter is particularly interested in promoting child safety awareness.

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