Close Encounters of the Legal Kind - Witness Beware

 Did you see that?  If so, there is a chance that you can be dragged into someone else’s lawsuit.  Just because you are not a party to a lawsuit, do not assume that participating as a witness is without its risks.    

Before answering any questions, contact your personal attorney or corporate attorney, to inform them of the fact you have been contacted by another attorney.  If you do not have a personal or corporate attorney, you should seek legal counsel and avoid proceeding on your own.  Involving an attorney, even for the most basic request, helps ensure that you understand the full scope of the issues involved.  Having your own counsel is also a good idea because your attorney will be looking after your best interest and help you avoid certain pitfalls of providing testimony.    

The last thing you want to do is get dragged into someone else’s lawsuit.  Going from witness to party is, sometimes, easier than people think.  Giving testimony also potentially implicates your Fifth Amendment Right against self incrimination.   

Depending on the nature of the lawsuit in which you are being asked to give testimony, and your level of involvement, there may be no avoiding being a witness or brought into the lawsuit as a party.  But, consulting with an attorney can help you state just the facts while guarding against sinking your own ship.    

Posted by eswartz at 1/18/2014 5:27:00 PM
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