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Chris T., JD
Chris T., JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4816
Experience:  Experienced in both state and federal court.
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I am an expert witness in a trial in California. Opposing

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I am an expert witness in a trial in California. Opposing counsel just sent me a subpoena which i received 5 minutes ago (at 8 pm at night) that I must appear at 10 am tomorrow in another city. Is this really allowed?

Chris T., JD :

Good evening. I'd be glad to assist you with your question.

Customer:

OK

Customer:

I am concerned because if I really have to be there, I have to leave at 5 am tomorrow morning. Obviously I can't get hold of any of the attorneys between now and then.

Chris T., JD :

Technically, yes, it is allowed. You could file a motion to quash the subpoena because it is overly burdensome and untimely, but absent some circumstances as to why you can't appear, it is legal. Often times, witnesses are asked to appear on short notice, sometimes because unexpected things come up during trial and sometimes because one side was surprised by the other side's witnesses, and have to call someone in rebuttal. Unfortunately, trials don't always go as planned.

Customer:

This is the first day of trial, so nothing could have come up. If I drive up there, they will send me home again. I know this is simply an attempt to inconvenience and harm me. They can really give you less that 24 hours?

Chris T., JD :

If you don't show up, you run the risk of the judge issuing a writ of attachment, which is essentially an arrest warrant for a witness.

Chris T., JD :

There aren't any notice requirements, so, legally, they can give you less than 24 hours.

Customer:

The subpoena says that if I have any questions about time or date or want to make sure I am required, I should contact the person before the date of appearance. Can't I call the number now, and say I can't do it? I actually am an older lady with cataracts, and I cannot drive at night before dawn.

Customer:

I physically can't do it

Chris T., JD :

That may be a justifiable reason to quash the subpoena. At the very least, you should be able to show up later than planned.

Customer:

I would have to stay up all night to get the papers together, and then leave at 5 am

Chris T., JD :

The issue here is that you have very little chance to respond. My suggestion would be that you contact the people in the morning and tell them that you had no way of getting there on one day's notice. They can ask the judge to continue the trial for a day or two to give you time to get there and prepared.

Customer:

OK

Chris T., JD :

Can I do anything else for you?

Customer:

No. I guess I will do that. Seems like I have very little other choice.

Chris T., JD :

I agree. They didn't leave you with may options. It is very unfair, and you are well within your right to be quite upset with the party that subpoeaned you.

Customer:

Thanks. XXXXX press some button now to pay?

Chris T., JD :

Yes, you just have to "rate" my answer using the set of faces.

Chris T., JD :

Do you see the set of faces used to rate the answer?

Chris T., JD :

Is there something else I can do for you?

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