Deposition Hot Topics: Handling notices, 30(B)(6) preparation, difficult deponents and opponents, dirty tactics, and ethics in depositions

Jason Balich
Alexandra Kim
Daniel R. Shulman
Gerald A. Connor
Jason Balich | Wolf Greenfield
Alexandra Kim | Wolf Greenfield
Daniel R. Shulman | Shulman & Buske
Gerald A. Connor | Margolis Edelstein

Live Video-Broadcast: October 13, 2022

Deposition Hot Topics: Handling notices, 30(B)(6) preparation, difficult deponents and opponents, dirty tactics, and ethics in depositions

$245.00 6 hour CLE

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Program Summary

Session I – Tackling Voluminous Deposition Notices and Preparing a Corporate Representative for a 30(B)(6) Deposition – Alexandra Kim, and Jason Balich

Have you ever been served with a Rule 30(b)(6) deposition notice that just seems impossibly long? Rule 30(b)(6) doesn’t limit the number of topics that may be included, and many an attorney has drafted such notices with too many or overbroad topics. In the first hour of this CLE, we will go over strategies to get opposing counsel to limit the number and scope of the deposition topics in a voluminous Rule 30(b)(6) deposition notice.

Once you pare down the scope of the notice, there exists an affirmative requirement under Rule 30(b)(6) that the company prepare one or more corporate representatives to testify regarding the topics noticed. But preparation takes valuable time and money. In the second hour, we will discuss how much preparation meets the requirement generally and will highlight a few real-world examples to answer common questions about how much preparation is enough.

Key topics to be discussed:

  • Responding to a Voluminous Rule 30(b)(6) Deposition Notice
  • Drafting a Rule 30(b)(6) Deposition Notice
  • The amount of preparation that satisfies Rule 30(b)(6)’s requirements generally
  • Addressing topics seeking information that the company does not possess
  • Lightening the load on designated corporate representatives
  • Effective remote preparation

Session II - Dirty Deposition Tactics - Aggressive Conduct and Cheap Tricks – Gerald A. Connor

A deposition is one of the most powerful tools we have for obtaining information in a lawsuit, and perhaps your first (and only) time to speak with the opposing party, assess their credibility, and evaluate the dispute that brought you together. Unfortunately, some attorneys use the deposition as an opportunity to be aggressive, hostile, and uncivil.

Key topics to be discussed:

  • Highlight the tactics used by counsel, so you recognize them as they happen
  • Learn techniques to effectively counter aggressive behavior and inappropriate conduct during a deposition
  • Better prepare your clients to anticipate and handle uncivil attorneys and “cheap tricks”
  • Protect your client from aggressive conduct and keep the deposition on track

Session III - Depositions: Handling difficult deponents and opponents – Daniel R. Shulman

“Depositions: Handling Difficult Deponents and Opponents” is an advanced course on how to deal with difficult witnesses and opposing counsel in depositions. Difficult witnesses can include not only adverse and third party witnesses, but also your own witnesses, whose deposition testimony may be even more important, since it can introduced at trial against you. You will learn how to prepare and conduct your own questioning, and also prepare your witnesses for their depositions. The course will cover how to question both lay and expert witnesses so as to put you in the best position to get a favorable result in trial or settlement.

Key topics to be discussed:

  • Preparing Your Witness for the Hot Seat
  • Strategies for Controlling the Witness & Direction of Conversation
  • Dirty Deposition Tactics - Obstructionist Conduct
  • Golden Rules (and Sins) of Deposition Questioning

Session IV – Legal Ethics in Depositions – Gerald A. Connor

The Rules of Professional Conduct of every state govern all of our actions as attorneys, including conduct during depositions. In addition to our duties to a client, attorneys also have ethical duties related to witnesses, and the process of a deposition overall.

Key topics to be discussed:

  • Identify the Rules of Professional Conduct as they relate to depositions
  • Highlight the distinction between preparing a witness vs. coaching a witness
  • The critical etiquette tips necessary for a smooth deposition
  • Recent developments with the unique issues that arise in remote depositions

This course is co-sponsored with myLawCLE.

Date / Time: October 13, 2022

  • 11:00 am – 5:50 pm Eastern
  • 10:00 am – 4:50 pm Central
  • 9:00 am – 3:50 pm Mountain
  • 8:00 am – 2:50 pm Pacific

 

Closed-captioning available

Speakers

Jason-Balich_Wolf-Greenfield_FedBarJason Balich | Wolf Greenfield

Jason Balich is a trial and appellate lawyer who protects clients’ technology and defends their freedom to use it. Jason’s experience includes successfully defending multiple patent owners—from manufacturers to public universities—facing inter partes review challenges at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) where the PTAB denied institution. He also focuses his practice on trade secrets. For instance, he has represented a plaintiff seeking to protect its trade secrets and a patent owner looking to stop a competitor’s infringement. In addition, Jason regularly represents defendants in patent and commercial litigation, including Hatch-Waxman ANDA litigation, before district courts and at the International Trade Commission.

Jason’s counseling and litigation experience spans a diverse set of industries including pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical devices, data storage media, electro-hydraulic devices, military equipment, and consumer electronics. Jason studied engineering at Princeton and is the co-inventor of four US patents as a product development engineer for 3M.

 

Alexandra-Kim_Wolf-Greenfield_FedBarAlexandra Kim | Wolf Greenfield

Alexandra Kim is a patent litigation attorney with experience representing clients in cases before the International Trade Commission, PTAB, and district court. Alex’s legal experience includes researching complex legal issues and writing memorandums, including motions and patent opinions on patent invalidity and noninfringement. Alex studied biology at Wellesley College and received a M.S. in Biomedical Sciences from Tufts University School of Medicine. She has co-authored several scientific publications, and has also co-authored eight legal publications, including a law review article on patent-agent privilege for which she placed third in the 2020 IDEA Student IP Writing Competition.

 

Daniel-R.-Shulman_Shulman-&-Buske-PLLC_FedBarDaniel R. Shulman | Shulman & Buske PLLC

Dan Shulman has been a practicing trial lawyer for more than 50 years. In 2020, after 50 years of private firm practice, he became a Staff Attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota and took a position as Of Counsel with his son’s Minneapolis law firm Shulman & Buske PLLC. He specializes in complex commercial and civil rights litigation. He was admitted to practice in Minnesota in 1970 and has tried lawsuits in state and federal courts in Minnesota and numerous other states. He is a member of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers and the American College of Trial Lawyers.

He is also a Fellow Emeritus of the Litigation Counsel of America. He was named a Minnesota Lawyer of the Year for 2012 and 2018.

In 2021-22, he was included in The Best Lawyers in America in the categories of Antitrust Law, Bet-the-Company Litigation, and Commercial Litigation.

He obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree cum laude from Harvard College (1965), a Master’s Degree in English Literature from Yale University (1967), and a Juris Doctor degree with honors from Harvard Law School (1970).

 

Gerald-A.-Connor_Margolis-Edelstein_FedBarGerald A. Connor | Margolis Edelstein

Gerald A. Connor is a partner and trial attorney in the Scranton, Pennsylvania, office of Margolis Edelstein, a full service multi-state litigation provider to the insurance industry, major corporations, and governmental entities. Mr. Connor focuses his practice on casualty litigation, ranging from automobile and general liability claims to products liability, construction litigation, bad faith and coverage issues, and workers’ compensation claims. He also has extensive experience in commercial litigation, intellectual property issues, municipal claims, and employment law. Mr. Connor has handled dozens of trials, administrative hearings, and arbitrations to verdict, and is active at the appellate level, in both state and federal court. He is a member of the Lackawanna County Bar Association and the Pennsylvania Bar Association.

Mr. Connor earned his B.A. degree from the University of Pennsylvania and his J.D. degree from Widener University School of Law.

Agenda

Session I – Tackling Voluminous Deposition Notices and Preparing a Corporate Representative for a 30(B)(6) Deposition | 11:00am – 1:10pm

  • Responding to a Voluminous Rule 30(b)(6) Deposition Notice | 11:00am – 11:30am
    • Triage the Notice
    • Meet and Confer
    • File for a Protective Order
  • Drafting a Rule 30(b)(6) Deposition Notice | 11:30am – 12:00pm
    • Drafting Topics That Are Reasonably Particular and Specific
    • Keeping the Number and Scope of Topics Proportional to the Needs of the Case

Break | 12:00pm – 12:10pm

  • The amount of preparation that satisfies Rule 30(b)(6)’s requirements generally | 12:10pm – 12:25pm
  • Addressing topics seeking information that the company does not possess | 12:25pm – 12:40pm
  • Lightening the load on designated corporate representatives | 12:40pm – 12:55pm
  • Effective remote preparation | 12:55pm – 1:10pm

Break | 1:10pm – 1:20pm

Session II – Dirty Deposition Tactics – Aggressive Conduct and Cheap Tricks | 1:20pm – 2:20pm

  • Highlight the tactics used by counsel, so you recognize them as they happen | 1:20pm – 1:35pm
  • Learn techniques to effectively counter aggressive behavior and inappropriate conduct during a deposition | 1:35pm – 1:50pm
  • Better prepare your clients to anticipate and handle uncivil attorneys and “cheap tricks” | 1:50pm – 2:05pm
  • Protect your client from aggressive conduct and keep the deposition on track | 2:05pm – 2:20pm

Break | 2:20pm – 2:30pm

Session III – Depositions: Handling difficult deponents and opponents | 2:30pm – 4:40pm

  • Preparing Your Witness for the Hot Seat | 2:30pm – 3:00pm
  • Strategies for Controlling the Witness & Direction of Conversation | 3:00pm – 3:30pm

Break | 3:30pm – 3:40pm

  • Dirty Deposition Tactics – Obstructionist Conduct | 3:40pm – 4:10pm
  • Golden Rules (and Sins) of Deposition Questioning | 4:10pm – 4:40pm

Break | 4:40pm – 4:50pm

Session IV – Legal Ethics in Depositions | 4:50pm – 5:50pm

  • Identify the Rules of Professional Conduct as they relate to depositions | 4:50pm – 5:05pm
  • Highlight the distinction between preparing a witness vs. coaching a witness | 5:05pm – 5:20pm
  • The critical etiquette tips necessary for a smooth deposition | 5:20pm – 5:35pm
  • Recent developments with the unique issues that arise in remote depositions | 5:35pm – 5:50pm