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  1. #1
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    Default Does a Defendant Corporation Choose the Employees Who Testify at Depositions

    My question involves court procedures for the state of: CALIFORNIA

    Dear Friends,

    I want to depose two employees that were present during the matter before the State Court and the subject of the lawsuit.

    The opposing counsel (we're in California) says I can only submit a deposition notice to the corporation itself and the corporation will decide who to send to the deposition.

    Is this true?

    Thanks for any help and promise to PAY IT FORWARD!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Urgent: Can I Depose an Employee Pay It Forward

    What does the court say?

    without knowing any of the facts really necessary to provide a dependable answer, about the best I can say is:

    if you have a specific person who has knowledge of the matter at hand, I don’t see why you couldn’t seek a subpoena to demand they present for deposition.

    Have you actually issued a subpoena to the parties you wish to depose?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Urgent: Can I Depose an Employee Pay It Forward

    Quote Quoting legalminute
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    The opposing counsel (we're in California) says I can only submit a deposition notice to the corporation itself and the corporation will decide who to send to the deposition.
    Opposing counsel is your enemy.

    Never take legal advice from your enemy.

    If you don't have a lawyer of your own, get one.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Urgent: Can I Depose an Employee Pay It Forward

    Thanks so much for your kind answers.

    No haven't submitted any subpeonas yet.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Urgent: Can I Depose an Employee Pay It Forward

    Quote Quoting legalminute
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    Thanks so much for your kind answers.

    No haven't submitted any subpeonas yet.
    So, issue, or have issued (haven’t read California civil procedure regarding the specific process) the subpoenas and see where it goes. If the opposing party wants to attempt to quash the subpoenas, then you can deal with it then. As adjusterjack stated: don’t take legal advice from the opposing party or their legal counsel. They’re purpose is to defeat you, not help you.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Urgent: Can I Depose an Employee Pay It Forward

    Quote Quoting jk
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    So, issue, or have issued (haven’t read California civil procedure regarding the specific process) the subpoenas and see where it goes.
    Doing that may be improper. In general one does not issue subpoenas to the opposing party in a lawsuit; rather, one follows the procedures for discovery instead. Where the opposing party is a corporation and you wish to get information from that corporation in the form of testimony from its current employees, that's generally going to have to be done through discovery too since those employees are agents of the corporation. Not knowing all the details involved I cannot say what the OP ought to do to get the testimony he/she wants. It would be a very good idea to first consult an attorney before starting to spit out subpoenas. The OP does not want to end up doing something potentially improper here.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Urgent: Can I Depose an Employee Pay It Forward

    I hesitate to mention this because this kind of mention has a tendency to get deleted for some reason, but additional information is available on the OP's other thread.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Urgent: Can I Depose an Employee Pay It Forward

    Quote Quoting Taxing Matters
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    Doing that may be improper. In general one does not issue subpoenas to the opposing party in a lawsuit; rather, one follows the procedures for discovery instead. Where the opposing party is a corporation and you wish to get information from that corporation in the form of testimony from its current employees, that's generally going to have to be done through discovery too since those employees are agents of the corporation. Not knowing all the details involved I cannot say what the OP ought to do to get the testimony he/she wants. It would be a very good idea to first consult an attorney before starting to spit out subpoenas. The OP does not want to end up doing something potentially improper here.
    i stand corrected. Apparently it requires a deposition notice if it is an employee of the opposing party. The rule itself is suggestive, if nothing else, that a specific employee can be called to a deposition.

    There have also been multiple issues and court resolutions where a corporation can be compelled to provide employee lists and their contact information. I see no other use than to be able to seek information from those specific parties.

    2025.280.](a) The service of a deposition notice under Section 2025.240 is effective to require any deponent who is a party to the action or an officer, director, managing agent, or employee of a party to attend and to testify, as well as to produce any document, electronically stored information, or tangible thing for inspection and copying.
    (b) The attendance and testimony of any other deponent, as well as the production by the deponent of any document, electronically stored information, or tangible thing for inspection and copying, requires the service on the deponent of a deposition subpoena under Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 2020.010).
    (c) A deponent required by notice or subpoena to produce electronically stored information shall provide a means of gaining direct access to, or a translation into a reasonably usable form of, any electronically stored information that is password protected or otherwise inaccessible.
    (Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 467, Sec. 2. (AB 2427) Effective January 1, 2017.


    Regarding the right of the corporation to designate an attendee to the depositIon: that is if the deposition is directed to the corporation and the rule states the corporation is to designate the most proper or knowledgeable person as the attendee. I would think it an arguable point that ifmthe corporation were to designate some person other than the two the op seeks to depose, the corporation would have to justify their designees and state they were more knowledgeable on the subject matter of the deposition

    But i wholeheartedly concur seeking counsel from an attorney would be advisable.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Urgent: Can I Depose an Employee Pay It Forward

    Quote Quoting legalminute
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    My question involves court procedures for the state of: CALIFORNIA

    Dear Friends,

    I want to depose two employees that were present during the matter before the State Court and the subject of the lawsuit.

    The opposing counsel (we're in California) says I can only submit a deposition notice to the corporation itself and the corporation will decide who to send to the deposition.

    Is this true?

    Thanks for any help and promise to PAY IT FORWARD!
    I think what you are trying to say here is that the proposed deponents are or were employees of your corporate adversary. And may have been present during times or at a time when the subject matter of your lawsuit was discussed, reviewed, appraised, addressed or admissions made by corporate personnel having authority to act and speak on behalf of the corporation.

    If that is so, then I am sorry but there is no short answer to your question. There are just too many unknowns concerning the litigation! If you would care to take the time to read California' "Civil Discovery Act" - which appears in your Code of Civil Procedure as Title 4 of Part 4. And consists of 18 Chapter headings, some 50 plus separate Articles and numerous Subsections - you would understand why a stranger to the lawsuit cannot give you a definitive answer.

    However, if opposing counsel believes that its corporate client is subject to being deposed through an officer, employee, agent or person of its choice (See: Section 2025.230 Cal CCP) then I 'd say it is safe to assume that you can depose any corporate employees of your choice. Meaning your adversary cannot preemptively select whom you may depose.

    Cal. Code of Civil Procedure Section 2017.010
    Unless otherwise limited by order of the court in accordance with this title, any party may obtain discovery regarding any matter, not privileged, that is relevant to the subject matter involved in the pending action or to the determination of any motion made in that action, if the matter either is itself admissible in evidence or appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. Discovery may relate to the claim or defense of the party seeking discovery or of any other party to the action. Discovery may be obtained of the identity and location of persons having knowledge of any discoverable matter, as well as of the existence, description, nature, custody, condition, and location of any document, electronically stored information, tangible thing, or land or other property.

    Cal. Code of Civil Procedure Section 2025.010
    Any party may obtain discovery within the scope delimited by Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 2017.010), and subject to the restrictions set forth in Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 2019.010), by taking in California the oral deposition of any person, including any party to the action. The person deposed may be a natural person, an organization such as a public or private corporation, a partnership, an association, or a governmental agency.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Does a Defendant Corporation Choose the Employees Who Testify at Depositions

    Quote Quoting legalminute
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    I want to depose two employees that were present during the matter before the State Court and the subject of the lawsuit.

    The opposing counsel (we're in California) says I can only submit a deposition notice to the corporation itself and the corporation will decide who to send to the deposition.

    Is this true?
    The context of your question is really unclear. In particular, you mentioned "employees that were present during the matter before the State Court." Does that means you are now involved in a separate matter before some adjudicative body other than the state court?

    By the way, what did your lawyer say about this?

    Quote Quoting Taxing Matters
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    Doing that may be improper. In general one does not issue subpoenas to the opposing party in a lawsuit; rather, one follows the procedures for discovery instead. Where the opposing party is a corporation and you wish to get information from that corporation in the form of testimony from its current employees, that's generally going to have to be done through discovery too since those employees are agents of the corporation. Not knowing all the details involved I cannot say what the OP ought to do to get the testimony he/she wants. It would be a very good idea to first consult an attorney before starting to spit out subpoenas. The OP does not want to end up doing something potentially improper here.
    Subpoenas are one of many tools used in the context of discovery. That said, it is correct that, if a person wants to depose an employee of a corporation that is a party to a lawsuit, one would not issue a subpoena. One would simply serve a notice of taking deposition pursuant to section 2025.210, et seq. of the Code of Civil Procedure (assuming, of course, that the case is pending in a California superior court).

    Quote Quoting jk
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    Regarding the right of the corporation to designate an attendee to the depositIon: that is if the deposition is directed to the corporation and the rule states the corporation is to designate the most proper or knowledgeable person as the attendee. I would think it an arguable point that ifmthe corporation were to designate some person other than the two the op seeks to depose, the corporation would have to justify their designees and state they were more knowledgeable on the subject matter of the deposition
    A corporate party does not have any right to designate the deponent unless the deposition is noticed under section 2025.230 (roughly the equivalent of FRCP 30(b)(6)). Under that rule, a "deponent [that] is not a natural person . . . shall designate and produce at the deposition those of its officers, directors, managing agents, employees, or agents who are most qualified to testify on its behalf as to those matters [designated in the deposition notice] to the extent of any information known or reasonably available to the deponent."

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