California Courts Cannot Force Out-of-Town Employees to Travel to California Depositions

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In an important ruling for corporations sued in California, the Second Appellate District of the California Court of Appeal in Toyota Motor Corporation v. Superior Court (July 27, 2011) No. B225393, held under Code of Civil Procedure section 1989 that trial courts lack jurisdiction to compel non-resident witnesses to appear for deposition in California.

The decision arose from a product liability lawsuit filed against Toyota Motor Corporation and its North American and U.S. subsidiaries. The plaintiffs obtained an order from the trial court under Code of Civil Procedure section 2025.260, compelling five Toyota employees, all residents of Japan, to appear for deposition in California. Toyota then petitioned the Court of Appeal for writ of mandate to overturn the order.

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