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Person Most Knowledgeable

Person most knowledgeable are persons who are appointed mainly by Corporations and Government agencies to testify on their behalf.  The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure recognize that a corporation may only participate in a lawsuit by relying on the testimony of its designated representatives.  Rule 30(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure allows the deposition of an entity, whether a party or a non-party to the litigation.

Rule 30(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure is used by litigators as an instrument to take the testimony of the “person most knowledgeable” about topics mentioned in the deposition notice.  This powerful tool is commonly used for three main purposes: (i) it avoids the necessity of guessing who, within the corporate framework, has the information needed; rather, the rule puts that burden on the recipient of the deposition notice or subpoena, (ii) to obligate the corporate entity who received a Rule 30(b)(6) notice to conduct a search of records and personnel and to educate the deponent who speaks for the corporation, and (iii)as the witness speaks for the corporation, testimony provided in a Rule 30(b)(6) deposition binds the corporation.  Rule 30(b)(6) depositions have taken on additional significance in the age of electronic record-keeping and electronic discovery.  Therefore, companies need to consider e-discovery issues when selecting a “person most knowledgeable” for Rule 30(b)(6) depositions pertaining to electronic preservation and production matters.  Failure to select someone who can speak to the complex technological mechanisms utilized to satisfy e-discovery obligations could result in prolonged litigation and costly disputes over spoliation and other electronic document production issues.

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