Commercial Litigation and Arbitration

Organization May Not Call Its Own 30(b)(6) Witness to Testify at Trial to Matters Outside His/Her Personal Knowledge

From Union Pump Co. v. Centrifugal Tech. Inc., 2010 U.S. App. LEXIS 25761 (5th Cir. Dec. 16, 2010):

Federal Rule of Evidence 602 limits the scope of a witness's testimony to matters that are within his or her personal knowledge. Union Pump argues that Bixler [Union Pump’s 30(b)(6) deponent] was permitted to testify to matters that, although they were not within his own personal knowledge, were within the knowledge of the corporation [Union Pump] because Bixler was designated as Union Pump's corporate representative. We disagree. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30(b)(6) allows corporate representatives to testify to matters within the corporation's knowledge during deposition, and Rule 32(a)(3) permits an adverse party to use that deposition testimony during trial. See Brazos River Auth. v. GE Ionics, Inc., 469 F.3d 416, 434 (5th Cir. 2006). However, a corporate representative may not testify to matters outside his own personal knowledge "to the extent that information [is] hearsay not falling within one of the authorized exceptions." Id. at 435; see also Deutsche Shell Tanker Gesellschaft mbH v. Placid Refining Co., 993 F.2d 466, 473 n.29 (5th Cir. 1993) (corporate representative is not permitted to repeat "rank hearsay").

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