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Litigation: The 5 risks of responding to a subpoena

While cost alone won’t get you out of responding, in certain circumstances you may be able to quash or modify a subpoena

This is part two of a three-part series. Part one provided you with a greater understanding of the subpoena process and best practices. The focus of this article is to discuss the particular cost risks that a company faces in responding to a subpoena and how those risks can influence your company’s response.


3.  Costs of becoming a party

Another risk that a company must consider is the cost of becoming a party to either the lawsuit in which the subpoena has been issued or a future lawsuit. The fact that this cost exists may not justify a modification or quashing of a subpoena. However, if a subpoena is nothing more than a "thinly-veiled fishing expedition," then this cost, combined with other factors, may authorize such relief. Consequently, the cost of becoming involved in the underlying lawsuit is a risk that may have a significant influence on what response you have to a subpoena.

Contributing Author

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Ronald Hicks Jr.

Ronald L. Hicks, Jr. is a partner at Pittsburgh law firm, Meyer, Unkovic & Scott LLP and Vice-Chair of the firm’s Business & Tort Litigation...

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