A corporate-designee notice under the procedures of Fed. R. Civ. P. 30(b)(6) or a state-court equivalent requires your opponent, if a corporation, to produce someone with knowledge to testify about whatever topics you list in your notice. It's a powerful discovery tool that I use in almost every case. For example, in "Discovery: Cut Out the Middleman," I wrote about the use of corporate-designee depositions as a substitute for interrogatories. And in "Discovery Concerning the Parameters of Electronic Information," I wrote about using the corporate-designee procedure as a part of electronic discovery.
In this post, I'll include a sample corporate-designee notice from one of my old cases. It can't be used verbatim, of course, but it illustrates the sort of information that can be discovered by using such a notice. It's based on Illinois Rule 206(a)(1), which states--
(1) Representative Deponent. A party may in the notice and in a subpoena, if required, name as the deponent a public or private corporation or a partnership or association or governmental agency and describe with reasonable particularity the matters on which examination is requested. In that event, the organization so named shall designate one or more officers, directors, or managing agents, or other persons to testify on its behalf, and may set forth, for each person designated, the matters on which that person will testify. The subpoena shall advise a nonparty organization of its duty to make such a designation. The persons so designated shall testify as to matters known or reasonably available to the organization.
NOTICE OF DEPOSITION PURSUANT TO RULE 206(a)(1)
TO: All Parties and Their Attorneys
You are hereby notified that on ______________________, beginning at 9:00 a.m. at the offices of __________________, counsel for the Plaintiffs, will take the deposition of Defendant _________, Inc., upon oral examination. The deposition will be taken before an officer duly authorized by law to take deposition and continue from day to day until completion. You may attend and cross-examine.
Pursuant to Rule 206(a)(1), Defendant _________, Inc., must designate one or more persons to testify concerning the following matters, said person(s) to possess the knowledge known or reasonably available to _________, Inc., as to the following categories of information set forth herein.
DEFINITIONS AND INSTRUCTIONS
As used herein, the terms "you" and "your" refer to __________, Inc., its agents, affiliates, representatives, subsidiaries, merged or acquired predecessors, present and former officers, executives, directors, employees and all other persons acting or purporting to act on its behalf.
1. The genesis, development, testing, implementation, and/or evolution of directory assistance call completion (DACC).
2. Any studies analyses, assessments, and/or forecasts prepared by you or on your behalf regarding DACC.
3. The genesis, drafting, developments and evolution of the language in [defendant's] tariffs (including any drafts thereof) pursuant to which [defendant] implemented and has continued to execute its DACC.
4. The number of customers who used DACC to complete phone calls.
5. The revenues, earnings, profits, losses, or billings relating to and/or derived from [defendant's] DACC.
6. The total number of directory assistance (DA) calls in Illinois yearly since 1995.
7. The total number of calls completed through DACC yearly in Illinois since 1995.
8. Complaints received from customers about DACC charges or the usage fees resulting from a DACC connection.
[CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE]