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Timothy D. Smith
Timothy D. Smith, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 1981
Experience:  10 years practicing IP law and general litigation
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I am a resident of Florida and am an Enrolled Agent. I prepared

Resolved Question:

I am a resident of Florida and am an Enrolled Agent. I prepared a tax return for a Connecticut resident. He was injured on a job and is suing another party. The other parties attorney subpoenaed me to a deposition hearing to be held in Conn. When I refused to travel to Conn., I was then sent another subpoena to appear before a court reporter for a deposition in a Florida city other than where I live. Apparently they want me to discuss the loss of earning of the injured party, and I feel very uncomfortable doing that. They are also asking for tax documents. I understand that Florida is not a party to the Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act. My question is, MUST I appear for the deposition ? Because of the Federal Privacy Act, must I produce tax documents ? Also, am I entitled to compensation if I appear at my normal hourly rate plus travel expenses ?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Timothy D. Smith replied 10 months ago.

I hope this message finds you well, present circumstances excluded. As a non-party recipient of a deposition subpoena from an out of state court, you do not technically have to honor that subpoena if the court does not have jurisdiction over you. This court does not have jurisdiction over you.

 

If the party subpoenaing you feels that your testimony is of the utmost importance, they could petition a court in your jurisdiction to order you to be deposed. This is a pretty rare occurrence but is legally possible.

 

That being said, it is normally the best practice to make arrangements to be deposed if at all possible. You are permitted to seek reimbursement for your typical hourly rate, plus travel and a per diem for food. You should contact the attorneys that have subpoenaed you before the deposition to request this and give them your hourly rate of pay.

 

As to Federal Privacy Act and divulging information, you do not have to and are not compelled to answer questions that would breach or release information protected under that law. Moreover, you do not have to divulge information that would be otherwise protected through professional-client privileges. Your client can waive those protections and allow you to address them. However, you will want to get written permission from the client to divulge this information before the deposition. If they will not allow you to release the information, then do not give it. Simply state "that information is privileged and confidential and protected under the FPA and I do not have permission to divulge.

 

In short, you don't have to go, but if at all possible, it is probably the cordial thing to do. You do not have to divulge otherwise protected or privileged information if you do attend.

 

Let me know if you have any other questions or comments.

 

Best wishes going forward.

Timothy D. Smith, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 1981
Experience: 10 years practicing IP law and general litigation
Timothy D. Smith and 7 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Your answer is most helpful and very much appreciated. Thank you

Expert:  Timothy D. Smith replied 10 months ago.
My pleasure...keep me posted if anything changes or you have additional questions!

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