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A Different Standard for Different Stages: Why Parties Must Be Allowed to “Invoke the Rule” During Oral Depositions

Posted by on Tuesday, January 30, 2024 in En Banc, Notes and Comments.

Morgan Scott | 77 Vand. L. Rev. En Banc 1

Two attorneys from the same law firm are representing plaintiffs in two whistleblower qui tam lawsuits against different pharmaceutical companies. One suit has been going on for years and is finally at the trial stage; the other will likely settle after depositions are complete. Attorney A appears at trial ready to question the plaintiff, but there is a problem––the plaintiff’s former supervisor, who is set to testify later in the trial, is sitting in the back of the courtroom. This attorney speaks up: “Your Honor, I invoke the Rule.” The judge, without asking any questions, directs the plaintiff’s former employer to leave the courtroom.

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Morgan Scott