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Deposing Employers Unrelated To Instant Matter From 10 Years Ago

Hackensack, NJ |

If am alleging defendants (who are not employers) defamed me + damaged my future employability by defamation & malicious prosecution, would they have a right to depose my former supervisors from all my former jobs (even 10 years ago, three states + hundreds of miles away) looking for any dirt they could dig up?

My belief is that former supervisors from long ago would be strongly opposed to even being dragged in + deposed in a case that has nothing to do w. them, + may even be concerned about saying things in a deposition that I would consider to be false + derogatory.

If so, wouldn't that just turn the instant case into a circus, where now instead of just litigating the instant matter, we would have a distracting "side trial" about my day-to-day job performance from a job 10 years ago?

Attorney Answers 5


  1. Before I respond to your inquiry, I must state that we have not spoken, I have not reviewed the relevant documents and facts, and I do not represent you. Therefore, my discussion below is not a legal opinion, but is informational only. Finally, my discussion applies only to issues to which Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey or Federal law applies, unless otherwise specified.

    That being said, in a defamation case, the plaintiff's reputation is at issue. However, I think that the defendants would have to show how the testimony of 10-year old employers would be relevant to the case. If you don't want the depositions taken, you should object and file to have the subpoenas for these third-party witnesses quashed.

    If you would like to discuss this matter further, please feel free to contact me at the below address(es) or telephone number.

    /Christopher E. Ezold/

    The Ezold Law Firm, P.C.
    Employment, Business and Health Law
    One Belmont Avenue, Suite 501
    Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
    (610) 660-5585
    Cezold@Ezoldlaw.com
    www.ezoldlaw.com

    Answered 8 months ago. Before I respond to your inquiry, I must state that we have not spoken, I have not reviewed the relevant documents and facts, and I do not represent you. Therefore, my discussion below is not a legal opinion, but is informational only. Finally, my discussion applies only to issues to which Pennsylvania, New Jersey or Federal law apply, unless otherwise specified. /Christopher E. Ezold/ The Ezold Law Firm, P.C. One Belmont Avenue, Suite 501 Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004 (610) 660-5585 Cezold@Ezoldlaw.com www.ezoldlaw.com


  2. They would have to prove there is relevance to taking these depositions otherwise you can object to these depositions and you should prevail.

    Call for a free consultation at 727-937-1400 or visit us on the Web at www.serviceandjustice.com.


  3. Luckily, the above lawyer has offered to speak with you. I'm sorry, but my firm only handles catastrophic injury cases. Good luck.

    Only 29% Contingency Fee! Phone: 215-510-6755 www.InjuryLawyerPhiladelphia.com


  4. The test for discovery is not whether the testimony would produce relevant evidence; it's whether the testimony is reasonably calculated to get to relevant evidence. What this is really saying is that the scope of discovery is very wide, but not limitless. And, the scope depends heavily on the underlying facts and theories of your case. You need to have a deep and serious discussion with yur attorney about whether you can quash these subpoenas and whether you should try. If you don't have an attorney, get one ASAP because without an attorney in a defamation case, you are likely in over your head. Good luck.

    A response to a question posted on Avvo is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. It is informational only. Allan E. Richardson, Esq. arichardson@employmentlaw-nj.com Richardson, Galella & Austermuhl 142 Emerson ST., Woodbury, NJ 08096 856-579-7045.


  5. it sounds to me like you're not represented by counsel; if that is true, run (do not walk) to the nearest attorney's office and get yourself represented. As another colleague points out, a defamation action is not the sort of case I'd recommend a layperson take on pro se.

    With regard to your question, I haven't seen the file and don't know what your suit relates to, so the following is pure conjecture. Asking for past employers' to be deposed seems unrealistic and an unlikely request. On the other hand, it's fairly common to ask for the names/addresses/contact information of your employers for the past ten years. That's a standard, pro forma Interrogatory in nearly any litigation. I use it frequently.

    The foregoing is not legal advice, and nothing in the foregoing shall be deemed to create an attorney client relationship. If you feel you need to speak with an attorney regarding your issue, it is recommended that you contact an attorney with expertise in your area of inquiry. The information related above is purely for informational purposes, and should not be acted upon without speaking with qualified counsel familiar with you specific situation and the laws related thereto.

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