The Discovery Update – November 2011


The Discovery Update – November 2011

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November 2011

From the President

As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday this month, we want you to know that we appreciate having you as a client, and we thank you for the opportunity to serve you.

We continue to strive to ensure that our services are of the highest quality because we know you have a choice when it comes to court reporting services.

Please send us any feedback you may have about this e-letter or our services, as we always want to hear from you.

Best regards,
Sheila Atkinson-Baker

Be a Potted Plant: Sanctions For Deposition Coaching and Witness Conferences

By Max Kennerly
The Beasley Firm, Philidelphia, PA

During the Iran-Contra hearings, Brendan Sullivan, a senior partner at Williams & Connolly (I wrote more about them here) who represented Oliver North, famously responded to Senator Daniel Inouye’s criticism of Sullivan’s repeated objections during the Congressional hearings with, “Well, sir, I’m not a potted plant. I’m here as the lawyer. That’s my job.”

The rules for Congressional hearings, though, are a bit different from the rules for a deposition in civil litigation in federal court. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30(c)(1) is quite clear: “The examination and cross-examination of a deponent proceed as they would at trial under the Federal Rules of Evidence …” If an attorney has an objection to a question, then what they must do is also quite clear under Fed. R. Civ. P. 30(c)(2):

An objection at the time of the examination–whether to evidence, to a party’s conduct, to the officer’s qualifications, to the manner of taking the deposition, or to any other aspect of the deposition–must be noted on the record, but the examination still proceeds; the testimony is taken subject to any objection. An objection must be stated concisely in a nonargumentative and nonsuggestive manner. A person may instruct a deponent not to answer only when necessary to preserve a privilege, to enforce a limitation ordered by the court, or to present a motion under Rule 30(d)(3).

Read full article >>

Legal Issues Surrounding Social Media Background Checks

By Michelle Sherman,
Sheppard Mullin, Los Angeles

Agatha Christie had a novel take on invention being the mother of necessity. She disagreed and said, “[I]nvention, in my opinion, arises directly from idleness, possibly also from laziness. To save oneself trouble.” She may have been onto something when you think about businesses that are turning to outside vendors to research employees and job candidates for them. Whether or not these outside vendors are the best solution, however, remains to be seen.

Companies Should Have An Internal Procedure For Researching Job Candidates And Employees On The Internet 

We recommended earlier this year that businesses establish an internal procedure for making employment decisions based on Internet research so they would not run afoul of state and federal laws that prohibit job discrimination based on protected factors. The protected factors include, for example: (1) Race, color, national origin, religion and gender under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; and (2) Sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy, cancer, political affiliation, genetic characteristics, and gender identity under California law. Most states have their own list of protected factors, which should be considered depending on where your company has employees.
Read full article >>

Be a Potted Plant: Sanctions For Deposition Coaching and Witness Conferences

Legal Issues Surrounding Social Media Background Checks

An Open Letter to the Judiciary: Can We Talk? (Part Two)

Imaging Personal Hard Drives Before any Claims are Filed


Dealing with Witness Anxiety »

Working With The Players: Witnesses, Judges, Clerks, Bailiffs & Expert Witnesses »


An Open Letter to the Judiciary: Can We Talk? (part two)
Read article »
Imaging Personal Hard Drives Before any Claims are Filed
Read article »
Using Checklists in Your Law Practice


1) Who initiated the Great Awakening?
Brigham Young
George Whitefield
Jonathan Edwards
John Peter Zenger

2) Who said “I will fight no more, forever”?
George Washington
Robert E. Lee
William Tecumseh Sherman
Chief Joseph

3) Who wrote the “Letter from Birmingham Jail”?
Frederick Douglass
Malcom X
Martin Luther King Jr.
W.E.B. DuBois

4) Which battle happened in the South in July of 1863?
The Second Battle of Bull Run
The Battle of Gettysburg
The Battle of Vicksburg
The Battle of Antietam

Click here for the answers.