· Legal Issues
Federal courts increasingly are cracking down on deposition misconduct through the imposition of sanctions under Rule 30(d)(2), which authorizes a wide array of sanctions against any person who impedes, delays, or frustrates the fair examination of a deponent. Fed. R. Civ. P. 30(d)(2). Sanctions are being imposed with greater frequency upon clients and their lawyers. As discussed below, sanctions may be imposed whether the disruption to the deposition was deliberate, or merely the product of a misunderstanding of the rules governing deposition conduct. For instance, courts have increasingly sanctioned lawyers under Rule 30(d)(2) for making speaking objections or improperly instructing witnesses not to answer questions. In addition, two courts have recently held that sanctions may be imposed for a lawyer's failure to intervene when a deponent client engages in deposition misconduct, on the theory that the defending lawyer's silence ratified and encouraged the bad conduct.