The Florida Supreme Court issued an opinion Aug. 26 amending Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.280, officially codifying the common-law “apex doctrine” and extending its reach to high-level corporate officers.

Prior to the opinion, the apex doctrine protected high-level government officials from depositions “unless and until the opposing parties have exhausted other discovery and can demonstrate that the [high-level government official] is uniquely able to provide relevant information that cannot be obtained from other sources.” The purpose of the doctrine was to prevent agency heads from being subjected to the type of harassment that hinders both the efficiency of agencies and state government as a whole.