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richanne96
richanne96, Attorney
Category: Personal Injury Law
Satisfied Customers: 133
Experience:  Attorney in private practice in Phoenix, AZ
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Responding To A Subpoena in Illinois I have recently received

Resolved Question:

Responding To A Subpoena in Illinois

I have recently received a witness subpoena (subpoena duces tecum) for a patient of mine who is now suing another doctor. The patient has already collected all his records from my office and it makes no sense for me to be asked to testify in court. I am also going to be losing income by being away from my practice for that day. I understand that IL Supreme Court Rule 204(c) entitles a physician to receive compensation for being away from his practice. I am also concerned that the patient might sue every dentist in town and keep sending me a witness subpoena. My questions are:

1. What is a reasonable fee to ask for providing expert testimony under oath. I can lose easily $500-$800 each hour I miss from practice.

2. What happens if the patient never responds to the request for compensation. Do I still need to show up to court? How do I correspond with the court before hand that the plaintiff never responded and that I am not in contempt of court for not showing up.

3. Where can I find a template of a letter that advices the patients of my fee for testimony and what method should I use to send it.

4. If I do go to court, what should I expect? Can the patient include me as a defendant in that or maybe even a subsequent lawsuit based of my testimony? What kind of questions will I be asked. Is a testimony even required or can the patient records be resent to the court?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Personal Injury Law
Expert:  richanne96 replied 1 year ago.

richanne96 :

Welcome to Just Answers.

richanne96 :

A subpoena duces tecum is a subpoena for documents.

richanne96 :

You do not need to appear in person. Read the subpoena in its entirety. It should say somewhere on there that you do not need to appear personally but you may instead respond to the subpoena by mailing the documents requested to a particular address, usually a law firm. There should also be a list of the documents they want.

richanne96 :

Literally, a subpoena duces tecum is a subpoena for the production of evidence, but it is almost always documents. If the subpoena does not say where you can mail the documents, call the court or law firm that issued the subpoena and inquire how you can send in whatever evidence they need. Expert witness testimony is not had by subpoenaing doctors to testify.

Customer:

The subpoena states that I am "Commanded to Appear" and bring along all related documents (x-rays, charts, etc).

richanne96 :

They always say something like that, but if you read further in, there should be a way for you to provide the documents before the deadline without actually appearing.

Customer:

It only states that I am commanded to appear at the date given at the location given and then it lists the documents that I need to bring along with me. The entire subpoena is only a page long and nowhere does it state that I do not need to appear and can just mail the documents. The plaintiff is representing himself and the number to contact is his own personal number. He hasn't responded at that number and there is no attorney representing him that I can call for more clarifications of what the case even is about.

richanne96 :

It sounds like the plaintiff did not adequately fill out the subpoena. You can always call the court. What court is the matter in? Is the court the location where you are supposed to appear?

Customer:

I did contact the court and they said to not call them but instead call the number of the person who sent the subpoena. It also says the same on the subpoena itself. The name, address and telephone number of the person requesting the subpoena (the patient) is filled out in the subpoena. The patient has been called and left a message and hasnt responded.

richanne96 :

Who signed the subpoena? Is the court the location where you are supposed to appear? Is the court online?

Customer:

The clerk of the court (Dupage county) signed the subpoena. The court location is where I need to appear. Online I can view the case details. The copies of his chart has already been provided to the patient. Also he filled the subpoena incorrectly. Listing the defendant first and his name second. I thought the Plaintiff name is XXXXX XXXXX appear first.

richanne96 :

It is supposed to appear first, yes. Is there a hearing scheduled in the case for the date and time the subpoena asks you to appear?

richanne96 :

Expert witnesses are not usually had by way of subpoena. You would need to have a contract with this patient to act as an expert witness with rates and expenses all agreed to in advance.

richanne96 :

You are never going to find a template for a letter such as you described because that is not the way these relationships are formed. If you want to testify as an expert witness, you should draw up a CV of your credentials and a rate sheet. Most medical experts have different hourly rates for document review, report writing, consulting, deposition testimony and trial testimony.

Customer:

I am not sure about what it means to have a hearing scheduled. My subpoena only demands my presence in court along with the documents he has filled out by hand. Looking at the history of this case it seems like many "Appearances" have already preceded this latest event of a "Subpoena issued". Also an event called "Counter complaint / petition" has been filed. Clicking those links dont expand of what that means.

Customer:

I am concerned that is there is no such relationship with the patient in terms of fees for testimony, how do I not go to the court without being in contempt of court as the document states.

Customer:

And also what happens if the patient never responds to our calls. How do I inform the court before the appearance date that I am not in contempt of court.

richanne96 :

Countercomplaint would mean that the defendant she is suing is countersuing her. That would also be an odd turn of events in a malpractice case. I would mail the patient another copy of all the records, along with a letter explaining that you believe this is what she was requesting with the subpoena. Charge her 10 cents per page for copying and mail her a bill. Send a copy of the letter to the court.

Customer:

Will that be enough for me to not appear in court or will I need to wait for an acknowledgement from the court saying that regardless of my presence being demanded by the subpoena, it is not ok for me to not appear in person since I mailed the docs.

Customer:

Correction on last line: "it is now ok."

Customer:

should I also mail him my hourly rates of testifying in court.

richanne96 :

That should suffice. It puts the court on notice that you provided all the documents, which is really what a subpoena duces tecum is about. It also puts the patient on notice that this is not a good way to get you to testify. You could also mail the patient the hourly rates for testifying. That should put an end to it.

Customer:

Excellent. Do you think $500/hr with a minimum of 3 hours would be fair. I know I average about that much and sometimes exceed that in earnings.

richanne96 :

Are you a board certified oral surgeon, or a dentist, or something in between?

Customer:

a dentist

richanne96 :

$500 is a little high for a regular dentist.

Customer:

OK, I will rethink the rate then. Thank you for your time. I will Accept this thread.

richanne96 :

Thanks. Have a nice evening.

Customer:

I am unable to click on the Rating icon. Its disabled below and hovering over it says "Your Expert has not finished answering. After you have received an answer you can submit a rating to give credit to your Expert for helping you." Is there anything else you need to do on your end so that I can give you a rating and credit?

richanne96 :

Not that I am aware of. I will close out of it again.

richanne96, Attorney
Satisfied Customers: 133
Experience: Attorney in private practice in Phoenix, AZ
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