Latin Lovers – Don’t Come Empty Handed

Most people know what a subpoena is – Perry Mason used them all the time to require a hostile witness to appear in court. Sometimes, however, a witness will be served with a Subpoena “Duces Tecum”, which goes a bit further – requiring not only that the witness appear in court, but also requiring the witness to have specified documents or things at the time of appearance. “Duces Tecum” literally means “bring with you.” In an embezzlement case, for example, the District Attorney might serve a Subpoena Duces Tecum on the bookkeeper of a company, requiring the bookkeeper to appear in court with the company’s bank ledger and cash journal to establish the elements of an embezzlement prosecution. The most common use of a Subpoena Duces Tecum is to require a witness to produce documents and records which would not otherwise be available publicly.
If you receive a Subpoena Duces Tecum, remember, don’t come empty handed!

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