Verrill Dana’s Silvestri Submits Letter on Rule 30(b)(6) on Behalf of American College of Trial Lawyers

May 8, 2017 Press Releases

(May 8, 2017) – On behalf of the American College of Trial Lawyers, Verrill Dana trial attorney, Frank J. Silvestri, Jr., Chair of the College's Federal Civil Procedure Committee, submitted a letter to Judge John Bates, Chair of the Advisory Committee on Civil Rules of the United States Judicial Conference, on the proposed Study of Rule 30(b)(6) Revisions, stating amendments to the Rule are not warranted at this time.

The Advisory Committee had received suggestions for possible amendments to the Rule, including:

  • whether responses at a 30(b)(6) deposition are judicial admissions
  • whether to prohibit contention questions at 30(b)(6) depositions
  • whether to provide a procedure for objecting to a 30(b)(6) notice
  • whether to require a corporation to produce someone with first-hand knowledge of the noticed topics
  • how to count the number of designees and the length of multi-topic depositions for purposes of the limitations imposed by the rules
  • whether the rule should allow or prohibit questioning a witness on topics outside the scope of the notice,
  • elaboration of the term "reasonable particularity"
  • whether there should be a limit on the number of topics in a 30(b)(6) notice
  • how to proceed when the organization cannot identify anyone with knowledge of the matter
  • whether to require court permission for multiple 30(b)(6) depositions
  • protection of discovery into preparation of the witness(es), and
  • whether there should be additional protections for non-parties.

The College's Federal Civil Procedure Committee appointed a subcommittee to delve into the issues raised regarding the Rule during the Advisory Committee's meeting in Washington, D.C., attended by Silvestri. That subcommittee came to the conclusion that the suggested amendments are not warranted after considering letters from both individual American Bar Association members addressing suggested amendments, as well as from the National Employment Lawyers Association opposing those suggested amendments. Its view was adopted by the full Civil Procedure Committee and approved by the College's Executive Committee.

The letter can be found on the Federal Rules of Practice & Procedure section of the U.S. Courts website. The suggestion was also forwarded to the Chair of the Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure, as well as to the Reporters of the Advisory Committee on Civil Rules.

On April 25, Frank attended the meeting of the Civil Rules Advisory Committee in Austin, Texas for updates on a variety of significant matters, including Rule 30(b)(6). After a lengthy discussion, the Advisory Committee decided that its own Rule 30(b)(6) Subcommittee should continue its work and focus on a couple of changes that might help lawyers defuse disputes when dealing with the rule. High on the list would be a clarification that 30(b)(6) testimony does not constitute a judicial admission, and possibly a directive that contention questions to a 30(b)(6) witness are inappropriate.

Silvestri's practice is focused on representing clients in business disputes. He has litigated partnership and corporate controversies including breach of fiduciary duty, corporate governance and securities claims; unfair trade practice, business tort and antitrust claims; healthcare matters; and real property claims.

About The American College of Trial Lawyers: The American College of Trial Lawyers is an invitation only fellowship of exceptional trial lawyers of diverse backgrounds from the United States and Canada. The College maintains and seeks to improve the standards of trial practice, professionalism, ethics, and the administration of justice through education and public statements on important legal issues relating to its mission. The College strongly supports the independence of the judiciary, trial by jury, respect for the rule of law, access to justice, and fair and just representation of all parties to legal proceedings. To learn more visit

Firm Highlights


Nearly 80 Verrill Attorneys Recognized by Best Lawyers® 2021, Including a Dozen Named Lawyers of the Year

(August 24, 2020) – Nearly 80 Verrill attorneys were recognized as "Best Lawyers" by Best Lawyers® 2021 , including 12 attorneys named “Lawyer of the Year,” a distinguished recognition for only a single lawyer...


Litigation Attorney Represents Maine Energy Company

On August 14, Bangor Daily News published an article covering the Georges River Energy, LLC v. KMW Energy, LLC that litigation attorney Rob Ruesch is representing the plaintiff in. Georges River Energy is claiming...


Fletch's Sandblasting & Painting, Inc. v. Fay, Spofford and Thorndike d/b/a Stantec Consulting Services, Inc.

Filed successful motion to dismiss a design malpractice claim arising out of alleged defective specifications on a renovation project at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine. The court’s decision may be found at...


Defense of Contractor - Davis-Bacon Prevailing Wage Claims

This case concerned the construction of a marine boat dock on an island in Boston Harbor. The Plaintiff claimed entitlement to unpaid wages and enhanced wages under the federal prevailing wage statute known as...


Does a property insurance policy still provide coverage if a business does not reopen after the COVID-19 Stay At Home Orders are lifted?

Most property insurance policies in today’s market include a provision that causes coverage to lapse if the property is vacant (as defined by the policy) for a period in excess of 30 days. Fortunately...


Real Estate Law: Ambiguities in Ancient Deeds to Kennebunkport Beach Resolved in Favor of Town

We represented coastal landowners in a high-profile appeal before the Maine Supreme Court, in which the Town of Kennebunkport claimed ownership of Goose Rocks Beach against numerous homeowners whose deeds described property down to...


Zoom ADR: Best Practices for Virtually Every Virtual ADR Event

As the post-COVID-19 “new normal” comes into focus, it is unlikely that civil jury trials will happen in many jurisdictions until at least the spring of 2021. For family law matters, cases involving children...


PPP Loans May Trigger a Qui Tam Wave

On May 28, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly published an article, "PPP Loans Expected to Trigger Qui Tam Wave." In response to the 2020 financial crisis due to COVID-19, the Paycheck Protection Program was launched. Litigation...


Domestic Discovery for Foreign Arbitrations? Now Three Circuits Say “No”

Well, that didn’t take long! Earlier this month I posted a short piece describing a two-to-two circuit split on the question of whether a foreign private arbitration panel is a “foreign or international tribunal&rdquo...


Domestic Discovery for Foreign Arbitrations? Location, Location, Location!

International transactions can generate international disputes. A party to a lawsuit in one country may believe that a non-party in another country has information that could be put to good use in the case...