Regarding witness depositions

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Regarding witness depositions

In a slip and fall case if the defendant requests a deposition from a particular plaintiff witness that may help the defendant can the witness decline and opt for questioning at trial only? Especially if the witness doesn’t want to weaken the plaintiff’s case. Is it optional or can the defendant demand a deposition via court supeona, etc?

Asked on March 10, 2017 under Personal Injury, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The witness can decline if not subpoenaed--without a subpoena, it's just a "request," without legal force. But if the witness is subpoenaed, he or she will have to be deposed; if the witnesses refuses, he or she could be sanctioned (punished) by the court for "contempt" of court, and the defense could make a motion to ban the witness from testifying at trial, making his or her testimony unavailable to the plaintiff

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The witness can decline if not subpoenaed--without a subpoena, it's just a "request," without legal force. But if the witness is subpoenaed, he or she will have to be deposed; if the witnesses refuses, he or she could be sanctioned (punished) by the court for "contempt" of court, and the defense could make a motion to ban the witness from testifying at trial, making his or her testimony unavailable to the plaintiff


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