What Is a Subpoena?

Subpoena Paperwork With a Blue PenIf you are involved in a legal case of any kind—a car or truck accident claim, a medical malpractice lawsuit, a birth injury claim, or a lawsuit involving a defective product—you may be issued a subpoena. It is important that you understand what it means when you are subpoenaed and how subpoenas served on others involved in your claim can help you win your case.

Subpoenas Simplified

Simply put, a subpoena is a court-ordered command that requires you do to something. The word “subpoena” means “under penalty” and if a person who is issued a subpoena fails to cooperate with the order, he or she is subject to civil or criminal penalties, such as fines, jail time, or both. It is very important that you follow the instructions given in a subpoena. There are two basic types of subpoenas. One type requires the recipient to appear in person to testify before a court or other legal authority. The other type requires the recipient to produce documents, materials, or other forms of evidence.

How Subpoenas Are Served

A subpoena is usually hand-delivered to the intended recipient so that there is a witness to the fact that the subpoena was received. In Tennessee, a subpoena may be requested by an attorney, issued by the court, and then served by a private process server, sheriff, or by the attorney for one of the parties. If you are issued a subpoena, it is in your best interest to read the document carefully to see exactly you are being asked to do. If there is any reason you are unable to comply with the subpoena, or are uncomfortable doing so, you should consult an attorney immediately to see if anything can be done to avoid a penalty.

How Your Attorney May Use a Subpoena

If you are the victim of someone else’s negligence and are pursuing legal action against the responsible party, your attorney may issue subpoenas to compel witnesses to testify, to gather important pieces of evidence, or to obtain documents vital to your case. When the negligent party—whether the driver who caused your car accident, the doctor who made a mistake, or a corporation that manufactured a harmful product—receives the subpoena, they will be required to cooperate with the investigation or lawsuit going forward.

The Holton Law Firm Can Help

Whichever side of the subpoena you are on, the attorneys at the Holton Law Firm can help. If we are pursuing a legal claim on your behalf, we will not hesitate to subpoena any and all parties involved to get the evidence or witness testimony we need to win your case. Call our office at 888-443-4387 today to see how we will fight for you.