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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    4

    Default Who Can Be Named as a Witness When a Business is Sued

    My question involves business law in the state of: MI

    Hello,

    I would like to learn about corporate litigation process. Who can be called out for litigation from corporate firm and does the corporation have the right to pick and choose who to send to litigation.

    I've got a job as design engineer at a big automotive company. I work on safety stuff, things like sensors, seat belts, air bags and such. Part of my job is to release component and assembly drawings that document part spec and performance. My name goes on the drawing as release engineer.

    Don't get me wrong, we design parts per standards and we test things so i am confident in what we release.

    My concern is that if i am (working level engineer) called up for deposition when someone is sueing my company, experienced lawyer from attacking side can twist my words or draw me to say something stupid and build their case around it.

    So if attacking side somehow found my name from drawings, can they request my company to send me for deposition or can my company send some experienced senior guys to deal with legal matters.

    I am sorry if i asked stupid question, i just want to understand details of litigation process related to who can be called up for deposition. I goggled this and it appears that basically anyone can be called up for deposition. I am worried about this as I don't really want to go to courts. If you guys have some good links i can follow and read up on this matter i would appreciate that.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    74,062

    Default Re: Who Can Be Named as a Witness When a Business is Sued

    If a business is involved in a lawsuit and the opposing party believes that an employee of the business has information relevant to the lawsuit, that party can notice a deposition and subpoena the employee to appear and testify. If the business or employee believes that there are legitimate grounds not to conduct the deposition, or to limit the scope of the deposition, they can attempt to convince the opposing party not to hold the deposition or to voluntarily agree to limits, or may seek a protective order limiting the deposition, and the employee may file a motion to quash a subpoena, but it's going to be a rare circumstance when any of that occurs. A party doesn't get to overrule the other party's witness list or substitute different people for the witnesses the party wishes to depose.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    638

    Default Re: Who Can Be Named as a Witness When a Business is Sued

    Mr. Knowitall is exactly right. If you are subpoenaed, surely your company will provide you with an attorney to go over the process with you in advance, and to sit with you at the deposition to protect your rights.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Who Can Be Named as a Witness When a Business is Sued

    I what to thank cmre3456 and Mr. Knowitall for reply to my question. I appreciate that.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    638

    Default Re: Who Can Be Named as a Witness When a Business is Sued

    You're very welcome and we wish you the best.

    Some things that we didn't mention but your attorney probably will. Discovery including depositions is by nature a fishing expedition. They are allowed to ask you questions which are irrelevant to the case and which wouldn't be allowed in court (as irrelevant) IF your answer might lead to more information which is relevant. Don't volunteer anything unless they specifically ask.

    Every deposition I've ever been to had one thing in common. A lot of questions were asked, starting with "How are you today?" to any other immaterial thing so that when they pop the important questions, you are relaxed and maybe even a little off-guard.

    If they ask a question you don't want to answer, or which sounds "dangerous," look at your attorney before you answer. He'll either object, or let you know you need to answer. Also, give your answers in a metered way to give your attorney a few seconds to think, and possibly object. Don't just blurt out answers.

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