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How To Obtain Needed Testimony For A Civil Case

Normally, a personal injury case gets decided through negotiations or, perhaps mediation. Seldom does a case advance to the point where there is a trial. Still, at the time of a trial, a plaintiff ought to know how to obtain any needed testimony.

The simplest method to use: just ask

Speak with family members, friends, neighbors or co-workers. Ask them if they will volunteer to testify.

Obtain a subpoena

A subpoena is an order from the court. It demands the appearance in court of a specific witness. The plaintiff that desires a certain witness must petition the court for a subpoena. By the same token, the plaintiff needs to provide the court with a reason for his or her request.

It becomes the plaintiff’s job to see that the correct person receives the subpoena. That usually means paying someone that has learned how to deliver subpoenas.

A lawyer must go after any expert witness.

Injury Lawyers in Waterloo normally speak with any expert that could provide a client with helpful testimony. Experts generally expect to be paid for their services. Typically, a personal injury attorney agrees to cover that expense for his or her client, and gets reimbursed, if the client’s case is won.

What can be done, if a witness is unavailable?

The plaintiff’s attorney could check and see if the desired witness has testified earlier, at some related proceeding. For instance, maybe that currently unavailable witness did appear at the discovery session. If that is the case, then the statements made by the same witness at the discovery session could be read in the courtroom.

Seek the answer to this question: Why is that one witness unavailable? Did some action by the defendant make that witness unavailable? For example, did the defendant’s actions injure the witness?

If that appears to be the case, then an effort must be made to obtain a written statement from the unavailable witness. Considering the circumstances, the judge should allow the reading of that written statement in the courtroom. Normally, a judge does not let the jury hear written testimony. The judge wants to hear from those that have taken an oath. Juries should not be listening to remarks that represent an attempt to restate what someone else has said.

Such remarks are viewed as hearsay. In other words, they have the same status as gossip. That means that they could be changed during the re-telling.

Still, if a defendant has prevented the in-court appearance of a given witness, a judge usually makes an exception. Of course, it would be the judge’s right to ask for an explanation, regarding the reason for the plaintiff’s desire to have the court hear from that one specific witness.