Depositions and Subpoenas Duces Tecum

In many Florida personal injury cases, the attorneys for the insurance company will choose to take the deposition of the injured person, some witnesses, and possibly some of the treating physicians on a case. In order to secure appearances at depositions, defense attorneys will issue a subpoena through the Court that directs a person to appear at a certain date and time for questioning. Sometimes, what is known as a “subpoena duces tecum” is attached to the notice of deposition, which requires the person to bring certain documents to the deposition that they may possess relating to the case.

“Subpoena duces tecum” is actually Latin for the phrase “bring with you under penalty of punishment.” A subpoena duces tecum will include a list of the items, or documents that the defense attorney is requesting are brought to the deposition for copying, or inspection. If the items are not brought, it is possible that the person who did not bring them could be in contempt of court. It is important to review any subpoena you may receive to see if there is an attached list of documents to bring to the deposition.

If there is, you should work with your Tampa personal injury attorney regarding what it is being requested and what needs to brought to the deposition. Sometimes, there will be no issues with providing documents or photographs. Other times, objections must be made because there are attorney-client privilege issues, work product privilege issues, relevancy issues, or the requests could be designed to overburden or harass an injured person. Also, the documents may not even exist.

Giving a deposition can be a very stressful event for the person being questioned. It is imperative to review your case facts and gather documents for any subpoena duces tecum in order to have a smoother and quicker deposition. Being prepared and having responsive documents ready not only helps you comply with the law, but also shows the defense attorney that you are serious about your car accident case and recovering for your injuries.