Apex Deposition

The deposition ( www.practicallaw.com/8-519-7525) of a high-level executive of a business entity or organization that is a party to a lawsuit. Typically, parties use apex depositions as a litigation tactic to either:

  • Exert pressure on the executive and entity in an attempt to extract a settlement.

  • Obtain testimony that is binding on the entity from a person who likely has little firsthand knowledge of the relevant facts.

Recognizing the potential for abuse, courts often prohibit apex depositions if:

  • The deposition would be unreasonably duplicative.

  • The deposing party can obtain the information it seeks by less burdensome methods, such as by:

    • deposing lower level employees; or

    • serving interrogatories.

A court may eventually allow an apex deposition to proceed if the party who seeks the deposition can show that the executive has unique personal knowledge and can contribute something new after other discovery has been taken.

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