Legal Issues

Litigation Quick Take: Served with a Subpoena - December 17, 2020

Joni L Ploeger

Q:  I was served with a subpoena. What should I do?

A:  First, you need to determine whether it is a subpoena to produce documents or whether it is a subpoena directing you to testify at a deposition or trial.  If you do not disagree with the information requested or providing testimony, you should comply with the subpoena.  Because subpoenas have the authority of a court order, failing to provide the requested information or make an appearance at a deposition/trial may constitute contempt of court.  So, if you disagree with having to comply with the subpoena (i.e. it requests privileged information, it requests disclosure of trade secrets, you are not given a reasonable time to comply, you are required to travel an unreasonable distance, etc.), you should make a timely written objection or move to quash/modify the subpoena.  An attorney can help you make this determination.       


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