Peerless Indus., Inc. v. Crimson AV, LLC, No. 11 C 1768, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. May 8, 2013) (Cox, Mag. J.).
Judge Cox granted defendants’ (collectively “Crimson”) motion to compel answers to Fed. R. Civ. P. 30(b)(6) deposition questions and for sanctions in this trade secret dispute. Crimson’s Rule 30(b)(6) deposition notice included a topic regarding plaintiff Peerless Industries’ (“Peerless”) alleged trade secrets. Despite that, Peerless’ counsel instructed its witness not to answer questions regarding what Peerless’ trade secrets were. The Court held that Fed. R. Civ. P. 30(c)(2) limits instructions not to answer to preserving privilege, enforcing court limitations or for a Fed. R. Civ. P. 30(d)(3) motion. Peerless’ witness should have been required to answer questions regarding its trade secrets to the best of their ability. As a remedy, the Court directed the parties to reconvene the deposition for up to three hours to question the witness on the trade secret topic, with Peerless paying for the court reporter and three hours of one of Crimson’s counsel time to take the deposition.