In Armada (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. v. Amcol International Corp., No. 13 C 3455 (N.D. Ill. Feb. 16, 2016), the district court held that there is no general prohibition against deposing a party’s former lawyer, and that defendant’s former General Counsel, Ashley, would have to sit for a deposition and assert privilege on a question by question basis.  In this case, defendant moved to quash plaintiff’s subpoena of Ashley on the grounds that it is generally improper to depose counsel where the same information is available from other sources.  The court observed that lawyers “are not automatically exempt from deposition,” and like other citizens are obligated to give evidence.  The court found that defendant’s reliance on the Shelton doctrine was misplaced, because that doctrine, even if recognized by the court, applied only where a party attempted to depose opposing litigation counsel, and Ashley was not opposing litigation counsel.  The court concluded that rather than foreclose examination of counsel, the more appropriate method is to allow the deposition to be taken and permit the attorney to claim privilege in response to particular questions, if necessary.  This approach enables a district court to identify specific challenged questions, as opposed to merely kinds of questions, and it creates a record more suitable for the court’s legal analysis of issues identified by the parties in their briefs and at oral argument.