In-House Counsel Depositions: Navigating Complex Legal and Ethical Issues

Responding to Deposition Notices and Subpoenas and Protecting Privileged Information

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

Conducted on Thursday, January 17, 2013

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926
Course Materials

This CLE course will provide guidance for in-house counsel to minimize potential damage to the corporation during depositions. The panel will explain how the attorney-client privilege and other evidentiary privileges may be strategically asserted to protect confidential information.


Depositions of in-house counsel are routine in business litigation, giving rise to complex legal and ethical questions regarding conflict of interest and evidentiary privileges. These issues arise primarily from the in-house attorney’s dual role as legal and business advisor to the corporation.

To increase the likelihood of success in asserting the attorney-client privilege in future litigation, in-house counsel being deposed should carefully distinguish legal advice from business advice and clearly indicate when they are acting in a professional legal capacity.

Further, in-house counsel must make strategic decisions regarding when and how to respond to deposition notices and subpoenas, including when to make a motion to quash such notices or request a protective order.

Listen as our panel of experienced business litigators explains how in-house counsel can avoid or limit their exposure during depositions. The panel will discuss the application of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and key court decisions addressing the deposition of in-house counsel, and will explain best practices for responding to deposition notices and subpoenas and protecting privileged information.



  1. Application of Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to depositions of in-house counsel
  2. Key court decisions impacting depositions of in-house counsel
  3. Best practices for responding to deposition notices and subpoenas
  4. Best practices for protecting privileged information


The panel will review these and other key questions:

  • What guidance do the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and relevant case law provide regarding the deposition of in-house counsel?
  • How can in-house counsel prepare to address the privilege issues that arise during depositions?
  • How can in-house counsel best distinguish between business advice and legal advice when responding to questions during depositions?
  • What are some effective tactics for in-house counsel responding to deposition notices or subpoenas?

Following the speaker presentations, you'll have an opportunity to get answers to your specific questions during the interactive Q&A.


David B. Fawcett
David B. Fawcett

Reed Smith

He has obtained verdicts, settlements and punitive damage awards in commercial litigation totaling hundreds of...  |  Read More

Matthew R. Sheldon
Matthew R. Sheldon

Reed Smith

His practice focuses on general commercial litigation with an emphasis on intellectual property litigation at the...  |  Read More

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