Being subpoenaed can be a challenging situation for any individual or business. However, with the guidance of an experienced attorney such as Attorney Beltran, an individual or business can comply with their legal obligations at an affordable cost while mitigating any potential liability.
With some exceptions, the recipient of a subpoena is generally a third party to an investigation or pending litigation. A recipient of a subpoena may be required to produce records or documents, sit for a deposition, or appear in front of a grand jury. An experienced attorney will first ascertain what the issuer of the subpoena is attempting to accomplish and will then work to narrow the request or reduce the burden on his client. In some instances, a subpoena may be substantively or procedurally improper and an experienced attorney will be able to file a motion with the court to quash the subpoena. An experienced attorney will also be able to assist a client with identifying responsive documents as well as documents that while responsive, are privileged and therefore need not be produced.
Recipients of a grand jury subpoena or a subpoena from a government agency should be especially cautious. In these instances, an experienced attorney is indispensable for clients hoping to identify and mitigate potential liability. An attorney will be able to ascertain the nature and scope of the investigation in order to plan an effective strategy for responding to the investigation. Recipients of a dreaded “target” letter will also want to consult an attorney about the possibility of invoking their privilege against self incrimination.
Under no circumstances should the recipient of a subpoena produce or give incomplete, doctored, or untruthful documents or testimony. This may result in substantial civil and criminal liability disproportionate to any actual substantive wrongdoing. Many prominent individuals, such as political operative Scooter Libby and media mogul Martha Stewart have incurred criminal liability for lying to investigators even though they had not committed any crime that was being investigated. Others, such as President Bill Clinton, greatly complicated their legal difficulties by lying under oath.
Under the “exculpatory no” doctrine, merely denying misconduct to a government investigator during a casual conversation can give rise to a prosecution for “false statements” if the denial is untrue.
If you are being investigated or have received a subpoena and are concerned about how to respond, contact Attorney Beltran or another experienced attorney at once.