If you have signed a confidentiality contract and you get subpoenaed to testify. Are you breaking the contract?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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If you have signed a confidentiality contract and you get subpoenaed to testify. Are you breaking the contract?

I am a nanny. I signed a contract and my
boss is going through a divorce and
custody battle. I was subpoenaed to
testify against her on something that
could incriminate her. Since I signed a
confidentiality contract will I be going
against contract if I testify?

Asked on January 25, 2019 under Business Law, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If there is a court order for you to testify, you can do so safely--a court order will insulate you from any consequences for not testifying. What you need to do is to file a motion a "quash" the subpoena on the grounds that you have a confidentiality agreement barring testimony; let the court order you to go ahead and testify. Ideally, have a lawyer do this for you; if you can't afford an attorney, contact the judge's clerk (the judge over thie matter), explain you were subpoenaed to testify but have a confidentiality agreement, and ask how to bring this up to the court--courts and clerks generally are helpful. Or your employer can bring the motion, since she is a party in this matter and doesn't want your testimony--you might ask her to make the motion.

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