Case Details


Attorney General Did Not Have To Be Deposed In Employee Civil Rights Suit

Filing State



U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit




Stagman v. Ryan, 176 F.3d 986


Terminated Attorney General office employee not entitled to depose Attorney General where Attorney General was not the decision-maker in termination

Case Description

The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed a district court ruling that a former employee of the Attorney General’s office did not show sufficient need to depose Illinois Attorney General Jim Ryan in connection with a civil rights claim against the Attorney General’s office. In reaching this conclusion, the court stated that the evidence in the record permitted an inference that Ryan simply approved a decision to fire the employee which was made by his staff. Noting that “depositions of public officials create unique concerns,” the court quoted an earlier opinion “[Public officials] should not have to spend their time giving depositions in cases arising out of the performance of their official duties unless there is some reason to believe that the deposition will produce or lead to admissible evidence.” Because that showing was not made here, the only purpose of Ryan’s deposition would be the disruption “of a busy official who should not be taken away from his work to spend hours or days answering lawyers’ questions.”