Shareholder Larry Coben was featured in the 12/09/21 issue of The Legal Intelligencer with his article, “Should Corporate Execs Be Exempted From Discovery Rules? Rejecting the ‘Apex Doctrine’”
In the article, Coben asserts that the component of the apex doctrine, which shifts the burden of proof on the party seeking the deposition of a corporate executive, is incompatible with Pennsylvania law and practice. A corporate executive with relevant knowledge of facts should not be precluded from deposition simply because their time is deemed more valuable than others.
“Regardless of the title or business-card designation of the deponent, if he is positioned to have relevant information that may be admissible on issues germane to a party’s lawsuit, these individuals should be available to answer questions via deposition. A generic rule preventing or erecting judge-made hurdles to the deposition of a corporate employee with critical information about the motivation that drove the defendant to act or not act in a reasonable manner—merely because she has risen in the chain of command to a high level—undoubtedly thwarts the quest for the truth.”
To read the article in its entirety, click here.
Larry E. Coben has represented consumers across the U.S. for more than 40 years against companies whose unsafe products have catastrophically injured and killed people. He has obtained many multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements. Larry has served in many leadership positions and is a prolific legal writer, having published three leading textbooks for trial lawyers as well as hundreds of articles.