November 10, 2021

Georgia Supreme Court Will Address the Problem of Abusive “Apex” Depositions

A frequent and vexing issue for corporate defendants, in products liability and other cases, is the demand for a deposition of the company’s CEO or depositions of other senior executives. Even when these executives were not involved in the relevant events and have no relevant personal knowledge, plaintiffs push for their depositions to gain leverage for settlement or for other illegitimate reasons.

Many federal courts provide protection from these demands by applying the “apex doctrine,” a rule that usually shields high level officers if they have no unique personal knowledge or involvement and the relevant information is available from other sources. These courts have recognized that corporations may be involved in many lawsuits and forcing busy executives to testify when they have no significant personal knowledge or involvement would impair their ability to manage the corporation’s business.

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