Depositions in Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith Litigation: 30(b)(6) and Fact Witnesses

Recording of a 90-minute CLE video webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Recorded event now available

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This CLE course will prepare policyholder and insurance company litigators to question fact witnesses and corporate witnesses in coverage and bad faith litigation. The panel will outline their experiences and perspectives on leveraging testimony by corporate representatives for both sides, using FRCP 30(b)(6) as a framework.

Description

Taking and responding to depositions in insurance coverage and bad faith cases involves nuances unique to insurance law. Planning a deposition strategy requires in-depth knowledge of the policy and the underlying or ancillary matters. Testimony by fact witnesses, including the insurance adjuster and corporate representatives for both sides, can often determine the outcome.

Liability coverage disputes often include an underlying matter, triggering challenges in using fact witnesses and experts and preparing for depositions in cases where the doctrine of res judicata or collateral estoppel may apply.

Rule 30(b)(6) allows the policyholder to directly question the insurer's corporate representatives about specific topics related to pending litigation. The insurer can designate the representative of their choice--and that person may or may not be the actual claims handler. Likewise, Rule 30(b)(6) allows the insurer to depose the entity policyholder and third parties concerning matters critical to the coverage or bad faith dispute.

If a 30(b)(6) witness is not the claims handler, can the policyholder subpoena the claims handler to testify at trial? Policyholder counsel must plan 30(b)(6) testimony along with questioning the claims handler. Likewise, Rule 30(b)(6) allows the insurer to gather information from entity policyholders and third parties for use in pre-trial practice and at trial. Careful preparation of the notice and for the deposition is critical.

Listen as our panel of experienced insurance litigators explains how policyholders and insurers can effectively handle coverage litigation deponents.

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Outline

  1. Planning a strategy for fact witness depositions
    1. Considerations for policyholders
    2. Considerations for insurers
    3. Using 30(b)(6) notice vs. individual notice
  2. Entity representative depositions
    1. Purpose and scope of rule 30(b)(6) depositions
    2. Drafting effective 30(b)(6) deposition notices
    3. Selecting and preparing the 30(b)(6) witness
    4. Scope of questions and testimony for 30(b)(6) witnesses
    5. Use of 30(b)(6) testimony at trial
  3. Other fact witness depositions
    1. Identifying fact witnesses
    2. Taking the fact witness deposition
    3. Defending the fact witness deposition

Benefits

The panel will review these and other high priority issues:

  • If the insurer does not designate the claims handler for a 30(b)(6) deposition, what are the policyholder's options?
  • If the policyholder designates someone other than a percipient witness to testify about critical facts, what are the insurer's options?
  • To what extent should counsel educate a witness in advance of a 30(b)(6) deposition?
  • What are counsel's obligations in preparing a witness?

Faculty

Boone, Richard
Richard W. Boone, Jr.

Partner
Wilson Elser

Mr. Boone focuses his practice on a wide range of corporate, executive and professional liability matters as both...  |  Read More

Kornblum, Guy
Guy O. Kornblum

Principal
Guy O. Kornblum

Mr. Kornblum has specialized as a trial and appellate lawyer for 40 years. He has handled over 3,500...  |  Read More

Levin, Bradley
Bradley A. Levin

Shareholder
Levin Sitcoff Waneka

Mr. Levin focuses his practice on tort and commercial litigation, especially insurance bad...  |  Read More

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