Subpoena Ad Testificandum or Subpoena Duces Tecum?

Horace Reed joined the 5:00 am club this morning.   He did his 100 pushups in fast sets of 25 each and then one more perfect one for good measure.

“I bet opposing counsel didn’t do that this morning!” he thought to himself as he drank his morning coffee.

Depositions were set for 10:00 and Horace was ready to give testimony.  He met his client in the lobby of opposing counsel’s building.  “Any tips for my deposition?’ the client asked.

Horace smiled and said, “No we weren’t served with a subpoena ad testificandum.  It was a subpoena duces tecum.”

“Speak English, please.  I don’t understand lawyer talk.  What are those things?”

The Difference Between Subpoena Ad Testificandum and Subpoena Duces Tecum

As they entered the elevator and pushed the buttons, Horace said, “A subpoena ad testificandum is a paper that requires a person to appear and give testimony at a certain time and place, commanding him or her to put aside all pretense and excuses.”

“And the other one? ”

“A subpoena duces tecum is a paper that requires a person to give testimony and bring certain papers with him that matter to the case.  In fact, usually the purpose is just to get the documents and when they are produced the deposition is canceled.”

“Why wasn’t this deposition canceled then?”

“I guess they didn’t think they got all the papers they wanted from you,” Horace said as the elevator doors opened and they stepped into opposing counsel’s suite.

1 reply
  1. John Bolch
    John Bolch says:

    Ah, good to see that you lawyers in the colonies still use Latin to confuse the clients! Unfortunately, over here these terms were replaced a while back with the rather less confusing ‘witness summons’. Such is progress…

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