Receiving a subpoena can be a bit scary for any business owner. Before you panic, there are a few things you need to determine first. For instance, what type of subpoena have you received? What actions are you required by law to take? If you’re a business owner and you’ve just been subpoenaed, in addition to contacting your business attorney, these steps are a must.
Type of Business Subpoenas
First, determine what type of subpoena you have received. Depending on the type, you may be required to testify in court or at a deposition, or you may have to produce certain documentation for attorneys or a judge. Or, you may have to do both. Your subpoena will state which of these actions you are required to take. Another detail that will be clear on the subpoena is the time and place that you are required to take action.
If you have received a subpoena that requires your attendance at a deposition or trial, the only requirement is your attendance at the specified time and date to answer the questions. If you have received a subpoena requiring you to provide certain documents, you need to ensure that you follow the instruction on the subpoena to the letter. The subpoena should detail exactly what documentation is being demanded, whether it be contracts, reports, notes, or emails. You are required by law to provide any materials requested.
No matter what type of subpoena who have received, DON’T ignore it. Doing so could land you in contempt of court with a warrant issued for your arrest since subpoenas do carry the contempt power of the court from which it was issued. However, a subpoena must be signed by an officer of the court, such as a business litigation attorney, a clerk of the court, or a judge. If you have received a subpoena signed by a litigant who is representing his or herself, you can safety ignore it since it is not effective in compelling you to act.
An Experienced Business Attorney Can Help
If you are subpoenaed, don’t panic. There may be grounds to limit or even quash the subpoena. An experienced business attorney who handles civil litigation can guide you through complying with the subpoena or explain other options which may be available under your specific circumstances. The AV-rated and experienced business litigation attorneys at Gehres Law Library are leaders is business-related litigation, including issuing and responding to subpoenas. Contact us today for more information.
Click here for additional information from the California Code of Civil Procedure concerning subpoenas.