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How to Respond to a Subpoena

People involved in a lawsuit often seek information from outside parties to gather as much evidence as possible to help their case.  Even if you are not part of a lawsuit, your business or you may receive a subpoena to produce records or appear for a deposition.  Subpoenas can be used as a way to obtain information so that the requesting party can decide whether to file a lawsuit against you or your business.  You should consult an attorney to assist you with your response as there are many variables that can arise related to responding to a subpoena.

It is important to deal with the subpoena right away, as you only have a limited time frame to object to providing the information requested.  The first step is to determine whether the subpoena was properly served.  California law requires that it be personally served, meaning it is handed to the appropriated person.  It cannot be left in a mailbox or slipped under a door.  If service was not proper, you can object to it.

A subpoena may ask you to produce a large volume of documents within a short deadline. Your attorney can contact the requesting party to agree on a more reasonable due date if necessary or narrow down what really needs to be produced.

When gathering documents, instruct your colleagues and employees to preserve any and all available records.  Your attorney can help you determine which records must be produced, and whether certain records are confidential, privileged and not required to be given to the requesting party.  If you do not properly respond, you may be held in contempt of court, fined, or even imprisoned.

Contact the experienced attorneys at Chauvel & Glatt to guide you through the process and advise you how to properly respond to a subpoena.


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