February 28, 2017
The Kentucky Court of Appeals issued an opinion on Friday addressing Civil Rule 27.01, which allows pre-suit depositions and request for documents. Bryant v. Allstate Indemnity Co., 2015-CA-1451. This appears to be the first Kentucky case addressing the rule in any detail. The Court of Appeals explained that the purpose of the rule is to allow for preservation of evidence, not general discovery. Allstate based its request for pre-suit depositions on the need to "complete its investigation." The Court of Appeals held that Allstate's reasoning was insufficient to satisfy the requirements of CR 27.01. The Court also held that the Rule requires a person requesting a pre-suit deposition to establish that she has a "cognizable action" against the proposed deponent and to verify the petition. Finally, before a trial court can grant a request for pre-suit deposition, it must ensure that the proposed deponent received notice and must consider whether a hearing is necessary to fully consider the matter.