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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just got subpeonaed. It is Friday, 5:45pm. I've had this for a whole 15 minutes.

I have to testify in a trial on November 6th at 8am in another city for an old employer that I've not worked for in over two years.

Of course, the attorney has no consideration at all for my time or my schedule. Last time I checked, trials weren't set up in a week. They normally take months and months and months to get a trial date. Moreover, I'm scheduled to be out of town on a business trip, one that was a pain in the butt to schedule in the first place, from 11/4 to 11/10.

And, of course, I tried to call the attorney's office. No dice. They're closed for the weekend. I tried to call my ex-employer. No dice, they're closed, too. I called the home telephone number of my ex-supervisor (who I am actually decent friends with). He's not home, either, so I left a message on his answering machine.

I just fired off an e-mail to the attorney. Included in the e-mail is my disgust for him for giving me a week's notice, I included a copy of my itinerary showing that I will be in Florida, not Colorado, on the date he requires me to testify in front of the jury. I also explained that the $35.48 check that they included for my "time and expense" is a complete joke, and that it wouldn't even pay for my transportation to get to the courthouse if I were in Colorado at the time of the trial. I told him that under no uncertain terms should he expect me to be at the trial, that I am a business professional, and I expect to be treated with some common courtesy, especially since they need me and I don't need a damned thing from them.

I closed the letter suggesting that I'd be willing to be deposed in this coming week, at my convenience, at my office, and my time is billable at $250/hour.

We'll see what their response is Monday morning.
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
thell throw some legal mumbo jumbo at you saying youll be intempt of court if you dont show. tell him the slap on the wrist is well worth making him eat crow in court room.
 

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I feel your pain. I am waiting for a subpoena from a former employer regarding a dispute with one of their vendors. Don't know when it will come, but it will come.

Unless you can convince the judge you are being treated unfairly, which could be very difficult, not showing up for the trial could result in a contempt of court citation, which could put you in jail for a night or two and/or a fine. Not sure what type of record you would end up with (gun ownership implications).

You should contact your own lawyer to determine your options. Don't rely on the lawyer who subpoenaed you, he doesn't care about your schedule.

E
 

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Is this a good time for a lawyer joke??

How come sharks don't eat lawyers? Professional courtesy...

A mini van with five lawyers drives off a cliff, all of the lawyers die, what is the tragedy of this story? A mini van has capacity for seven lawyers...
 

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Call the attorney Monday AM. You may be able to send a statement via your attorney answering the questions in regards to this. You probably won't have to show up.
 

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Trapper L said:
Call the attorney Monday AM. You may be able to send a statement via your attorney answering the questions in regards to this. You probably won't have to show up.
Have your attorney arrange a deposition.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
denfoote said:
Trapper L said:
Call the attorney Monday AM. You may be able to send a statement via your attorney answering the questions in regards to this. You probably won't have to show up.
Have your attorney arrange a deposition.
I don't have an attorney on retainer. I've never needed one in the past. My father was an attorney, he has been retired and moved from where he is licensed to practice for several years now.

I did send the attorney proof of my travel plans via e-mail. I would, allegedly, be a "friendly" witness. When they first brought up the notion that I would have to testify in this trial (they gave me no date), I was still in graduate school at the time. I also told the attorney that I was very active in my job search and that they really should give me as much notice as I can so that I could notify my new employer, whoever that might be. Obviously, you can see how well he listened to me.

I can say one thing. If they want to have a very hostile witness on the stand, they can try to force me to be there. I will dress like a slob, I'll belch like crazy on the witness stand. I can very easily make myself an unattractive witness. Hell, I dressed in drag for a company Halloween party three years ago (and did it again my last day of the job as my parting joke). Maybe I would show up at trial in the same outfit.

Moreover, I won't drive my car down there. They want me to testify? They can send me a limo to pick me up and take me there. It is 140 miles round trip. I don't have a pony in this fight, I'm not spending my own money (the $35 they sent me for expenses is horse manure, and they've not even considered parking expenses), and I'm not driving my car through four rush hours (two in Denver and two in Colorado Springs) to get there by 8:00am.

Missing this business trip at the last minute may cost me my new position. This is not a criminal trial, this is a civil matter. I can guarantee you that I will not go down without a fight.
 

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Talk to the Judge's office - if U do not show up, you could be held inc ontempt of court.

Be aware too that courts set up multiple trials for the same week - so, it may not even go, and you could have wasted your time with the trip (skipping the trip for nothing)
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
spanielsells said:
denfoote said:
Trapper L said:
Call the attorney Monday AM. You may be able to send a statement via your attorney answering the questions in regards to this. You probably won't have to show up.
Have your attorney arrange a deposition.[/quote
I can say one thing. If they want to have a very hostile witness on the stand, they can try to force me to be there. I will dress like a slob, I'll belch like crazy on the witness stand. I can very easily make myself an unattractive witness. Hell, I dressed in drag for a company Halloween party three years ago (and did it again my last day of the job as my parting joke). Maybe I would show up at trial in the same outfit.
You should fight this tooth and nail. One thing though... if you do make it there being a hostile witness to spite the lawyer only screws whoever the lawyer is representing over. The lawyer is the one at fault here and he will be getting paid either way I am sure.

Good luck man.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
shipwreck said:
Talk to the Judge's office - if U do not show up, you could be held inc ontempt of court.

Be aware too that courts set up multiple trials for the same week - so, it may not even go, and you could have wasted your time with the trip (skipping the trip for nothing)
I have no clue who the judge is. I have no contact information for them. This was sent over from the attorney.

And, you're right, of course. There's no guarantee (it even says so on the cover letter) that I'll be called to testify at the time and date that I'm ordered to appear.

I realize that I wouldn't be harming the attorney.

The company that I worked for is currently in a huge state of transition. They were very recently purchased by Liberty Mutual, the people at the company are waiting to hear who even gets to keep their job and who loses it.

I don't give a rat's ass if I harm the company. The company, for all intents and purposes, no longer exists.

So, in reality, this is all about the lawyer who created an emergency on my part.

Monday morning I need to start finding myself an attorney to figure out what my rights are here. I had scheduled on my calendar other important things, like continued preparation for my meeting, but who am I? Just a pissant, apparently.

Remember the saying, Lack of proper planning on your part does not create an emergency on my part? This is what the attorney is going to hear from me Monday morning.
 

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Ancient Gaseous Emanation
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Lack of proper planning on your part does not create an emergency on my part
Proper planning on your part entails hiring an attorney.
 

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In my life, I've only met one lawyer that I've liked, and he's my Criminal Law instructor, and he's retired from the lawyer business.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Popeye said:
Lack of proper planning on your part does not create an emergency on my part
Proper planning on your part entails hiring an attorney.
Not really. Most Americans do not have an attorney on retainer, nor do they need one. I've never been in a situation where I've needed an attorney on retainer before.

Proper planning includes what the average person is expected to do, what a prudent person would do.

Proper planning would have included the attorney knowing the trial date six months ago and notifying witnesses to keep their schedule clear for the trial date. Proper planning does not include Joe Average having an attorney on retainer.
 

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Ancient Gaseous Emanation
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Proper planning on your part entails hiring an attorney.

You now seem to be in the position where you can benefit from the advice of an attorney. Have you made plans to contact one tomorrow morning?
 

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So what happened??? Hire a lawyer? Talk to the lawyer who served the papers? Talk to the judge?

The suspense is palpable.

:shock:
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
On Saturday, I spent much of the day telephoning associates at his lawfirm (thanks to Martindale.com), trying to find someone who knew how to reach him on a weekend. Of course, none of the associates admitted to knowing how to reach a partner (I expected that) on a day off. However, I left a message with each of them, stressing the urgency of the matter. I did manage to find one associate who said he would try to e-mail him on his personal e-mail address.

After that, I started telephoning people out of the phone directory who had the same name as him that would be likely candidates (IOW, I didn't pick addresses that someone of his stature would likely not live). No such luck, and unfortunately, he has a fairly common name.

On Sunday morning, I called my boss and told him that I'd be flying out on the next flight to Florida so that I could brief him, hand him over all of my research, the presentation, etc. and that I'd stay as long as I needed until the trial so that I could help him finish his project and have him ready to do the entire presentation himself. As I'm driving to the airport, I get an e-mail from the attorney saying he'll call me later on Sunday, to give him time to get to the office. I e-mail the attorney back, explain to him that I'm on my way to the airport, so if he could expedite his trip to the office, I'd appreciate it. So, I call my boss, tell him to hold on, that I'm going to wait and see what the attorney says.

The attorney calls and explains that this will be a five-day trial. He also says that he meant to call me before serving me, but just never got around to doing it. I explained the situation to him, and indicated that my new job might be on the line, and that I'm actively trying to do anything I could think of to save it.

He then tells me that he can just reschedule me to the last day of the trial, which occurs on the 14th, instead of the first day of the trial, which is perfect because I'll be back in town then. I had him send me an e-mail confirming that my appearance date had changed. Meanwhile, I contacted my boss with, "Never mind." He's now happy as a clam.

The attorney and I have yet to discuss my expenses ($34.50 still won't cover my travel down to and from Colorado Springs, let alone my time), but the most important part is that I'm on schedule to give this presentation, that I'll be able to shine in front of the board of directors, and justify to them why I was hired, and hopefully, we'll be able to land this potentially huge account, or at least keep them interested.

Meanwhile, I chatted with a retired lawyer friend of my father's yesterday. He suggested that I not bother putting a lawyer on retainer, he just told me to contact him if I ever found myself in a similar sticky situation. He's now preprogrammed on my Blackberry.
 
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