Legal Memorandum: Depositions of Corporate Designees in MO

Issue: What is controlling Missouri law relating to depositions of corporate designees?

Area of Law: Business Organizations & Contracts, Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Corporate designee; Deposition
Jurisdiction: Federal, Missouri
Cited Cases: 95 F. Supp. 2d 1155; 271 S.W.3d 549
Cited Statutes: Mo. R. Civ. P. 57.03(b)(4); Mo. R. Civ. P. 57(b)(4); Fed. R. Civ. P. 30(b)(6)
Date: 12/01/2013

Rule 57(b)(4) provides that a party may name a party-corporation in a deposition notice and a subpoena duces tecum to the corporation.  Mo. R. Civ. P. 57.03(b)(4).  The notice must “describe with reasonable particularity the matters on which examination is requested.”  The corporation, in turn, “shall designate one or more officers, directors, or managing agents, or other persons . . . to testify on its behalf . . . .”   Id.  Then corporate designees “shall testify as to matters known or reasonably available to the organization.”  Id. (emphasis added).  Other witnesses, in contrast, testify as to their personal knowledge.  See State ex rel. Reif v. Jamison, 271 S.W.3d 549, 551 (Mo. banc 2008).  The corporate desginee’s testimony on the topics identified in the notice are admissible against, and will be binding on, the corporate party.  Id.

In determining whether a topic listed in a Rule 57.03(b)(4) notice is too broad and not stated with “reasonable particularity,” the rule does not require exact precision.

The rule . . . requires that the matters to be covered be identified with “reasonable particularity.”  By their very nature, the topics identified will be stated more broadly than an interrogatory, a request for an admission or any other specific form of discovery. In determining if a topic is overly broad, the only questions are whether the topic is relevant to the case and whether the matters to be covered are stated with sufficient clarity so that the deponent is able to discern the times, places, persons, objects, or events […]

margin-left:1.0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;text-align:justify;text-indent:.5in; text-autospace:none’>

Subscribe to Litigation Pathfinder

To get the full-text of this Legal Memorandum ... and more!

(Month-to-month and annual subscriptions available)