How can I get avoid a possible subpoena?

UPDATED: Jul 12, 2010

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How can I get avoid a possible subpoena?

I was involved in an affair with a married co-worker for 4 years. Things turned unpleasant, she lied and manipulated the situation, and I was terminated. This woman is a Licensed Professional Counselor. I wrote a detailed complaint and sent to the Licensing Board. She was not terminated but I understand her husband read the complaint and they are now divorced. Today he e-mailed me, asking me to send him the report, he said he needs it for court. I can send it but I really am trying to put all this behind me; I do not want to testify in person. What are the chances this could happen?

Asked on July 12, 2010 under Family Law, Arkansas


B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

I am not at all sure that sending the man a copy of your report is a good idea.  When you made the complaint to the licensing board, that was probably protected by what the law calls a qualified privilege, so that it would be very difficult for the woman to sue you for libel, based on that complaint.  However, if you give that same written document to her husband, the qualified privilege wouldn't be there.  This is most certainly not the kind of case where you can rely on truth as a defense because it's your word against hers.

I think if you ignore the email, or reply that you don't want to be involved, it's actually less likely that you'd be subpoenaed to testify, especially if the husband has an attorney.  Unwilling witnesses are like unexploded fireworks: unpredictable, and potentially dangerous.

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