Case 4:11-cv-00766-JED-FHM Document 38 Filed in USDC ND/OK on 06/04/13 Page 1 of 3
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF OKLAHOMA
SUSAN L. EASTER,
DIRECTV CUSTOMER SERVICES,
Case No. 11-CV-766-JED-FHM
OPINION AND ORDER
Defendant’s Motion to Compel Plaintiff to Give Non-Evasive Deposition Testimony
and Motion for Sanctions [Dkts. 28 and 30] are before the court for decision. Plaintiff has
filed a Response [Dkt. 36] and Defendant has filed a Reply [Dkt. 37].
Defendant contends that at Plaintiff’s deposition, Plaintiff gave evasive, non-
responsive answers to nearly all of Defendant’s counsel’s questions, that Plaintiff’s attorney
encouraged Plaintiff’s evasive tactics, and that after several hours it became apparent the
deposition was futile causing Defendant to terminate the deposition. Defendant seeks a
continuation of the deposition before a Magistrate Judge and sanctions against Plaintiff and
Plaintiff responds that the problems at the deposition were caused by Defendant’s
attorney’s repeated interruptions of the witness and Defendant’s attorney’s attempts to
harass and intimidate the witness.
The court has watched the excerpts of the video of the deposition provided by
Defendant and read the entire transcript of the deposition provided by Plaintiff. Although
there were some difficulties during the deposition, contributed to by the witness and both
Case 4:11-cv-00766-JED-FHM Document 38 Filed in USDC ND/OK on 06/04/13 Page 2 of 3
attorneys, those difficulties did not rise to the level of bad faith or frustrate the fair
examination of the deponent. Fed.R.Civ.P. 30(d).
At times the witness was overly cautious and suspicious of the questions and she
sought to leave some aspects of her answers vague. At times the witness also
gratuitously presented her view of the case as part of her response. But in response to
many questions, the witness was directly responsive.
At times Defendant’s counsel interrupted the witness’s response and argued with
the witness. Defendant’s counsel also engaged in unnecessary argument with Plaintiff’s
For his part, Plaintiff’s attorney did not attempt to assist the witness in being more
responsive and unnecessarily insisted on the witness being permitted to complete all of her
responses even when it was clear that the process had gotten off track. Plaintiff’s counsel
also engaged in unnecessary arguments with Defendant’s attorney.
Despite these shortcomings by each of the participants, on the whole, the deposition
was not unproductive. The witness was providing responsive, relevant information and the
attorneys were conducting themselves civilly.
Defendant’s request for a continuation of the deposition before a Magistrate Judge
is denied. There is no reason why the witness and attorneys cannot complete this
deposition by themselves with a good faith effort by all participants.
Defendant’s request for sanctions is also denied. Each of the participants bear
some responsibility for the difficulties at the deposition.
Case 4:11-cv-00766-JED-FHM Document 38 Filed in USDC ND/OK on 06/04/13 Page 3 of 3
Defendant is permitted to resume the deposition but is limited to the time remaining
from the original 7 hour limitation. Fed.R.Civ.P. 30(d)(3)(B). Each side will bear their own
fees related to this motion.
IT IS SO ORDERED THIS 4th day of June, 2013.