Litigation Quick Take: Witnesses

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Q:  I have been identified as a witness.  What is my role?

A: If you are a witness, it is likely your role in a case will be limited to providing informal interviews with the parties and/or their attorneys, deposition testimony, and testimony at trial.  Sometimes your role could include producing relevant documents.  A person’s role as a witness is likely very important to one or more parties in a case, providing valuable information that could sway an issue one way or the other.

As a witness, you are not a party to a case, so you do not have any obligations to follow the progress of the case.  You do not have an obligation to meet court deadlines applicable to the parties.  You are simply ready and available to provide relevant information at the appropriate time if called upon by a party. 

Of course, not every witness wants to be involved in a lawsuit.  In that case, you may be subpoenaed to testify for a deposition or trial if you do not provide the information voluntarily.  Please see this blog post about your legal obligations if you have been served with a subpoena.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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