The Fourth District Court of Appeal clarified the operation of Fla.R.Civ.P. 1.310(b)(6), which is the rule governing corporate depositions. The Court strongly emphasized that the person(s) designated to testify represents the “collective knowledge” and “voice” of the corporation, not of the individual deponents.
The Court found that the deposition of the corporate representative was neither properly noticed nor conducted in the underlying matter. This case warns practitioner’s against the standard practice of designating the corp. rep. as the person with the “most knowledge.” Rather, it is important to seek the witness that can best give “complete, knowledgeable, and binding answers” on behalf of the corporation.
It is interesting to note that the Court did not address the likely evidentiary hurdle that the corporate rep. as “voice of the corporation” will almost always rely on hearsay testimony in some shape or fashion. This will be a challenge in any trial case involving a corp. rep. deponent.
Carriage Hills Condo., Inc. v. JBH Roofing & Constructors, Inc., 109 So. 3d 329, 336 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2013) review dismissed, 130 So. 3d 692 (Fla. 2013), reh’g denied (Nov. 7, 2013)