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Court of Chancery Denies Defendants' Demand For Intercontinental Depositions Approving Videoconferencing Under R.30(b) And Limits Number Of Deponents

Unisuper Ltd., et al. v. News Corporation, et al., C.A. No. 1699-N, 2006 WL 375433 (Del. Ch. Feb. 09, 2006). Defendants filed cross-motions requiring depositions of thirteen named plaintiffs' under Ch. Ct. R. 30(b)(6) in either Delaware or New York. Plaintiffs filed motions for protective orders, to limit the numbers of deponents and contended depositions could occur outside the United States via videoconferencing. The plaintiffs' Australian company had reincorporated in Delaware. Plaintiff sought equitable relief requesting its shareholders to be permitted to vote on a poison pill's extension. The court treated this matter as a representative one, rather than an individual shareholder suit. The court denied the defendants' motion to compel because: (1) only two of the plaintiffs were involved in the alleged contract's negotiations; (2) "reasonable reliance" was for the court to decide under an objective standard and did not therefore require deposing all thirteen plaintiffs'; (3) the plaintiffs were not required to be deposed in Delaware because they had no choice in the matter of forum selection on account of reincorporation, although they were required to file this action in Delaware. The court denied defendants' motion to compel the depositions in Delaware, issuing protective orders to the plaintiffs. The court agreed with plaintiffs that videoconferencing depositions may be permitted under Ch. Ct. R. 30(b)(7) to obviate extensive hardships and cost of travel from Australia. Pursuant to the authority of Chang v. Chang, 1992 WL 236944, at *1 (Del. Ch. 1992) and Ch. Ct. R. 30(b)(7), the court issued protective orders. Authored by: Raj Srivatsan 302-888 6831 Share
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