I am being subpoenaed for deposition following an incident resulting in the death of a contracted over-the-road hauler. This incident occurred in July 2010. In November 2010, the employer terminated my employment with them for unknown reasons. At that time I was the Safety Manager for the facility where this happened. I have since relocated to another state and have found new employment.
The legal assistant who contacted me to inform me that I will be deposed told me that I would be required to travel approximately 325 miles one way for the deposition with a minimal witness fee and mileage to be paid.
I have also been told that I would be represented by the attorney representing my former employer. Wanting to share any information that may be relevant, I have no problem with being deposed. My problem lies with the fact that I am being asked to travel some distance for this former employer.
Am I legally bound, if subpoenaed, to travel out of state?
Am I eligible for reimbursement for lodging and meals?
Should I retain my own counsel to represent me in case the plaintiff tries to hold me personally liable on some level?
If this should happen, does the former employer have an obligation to provide legal counsel for me?
1 Answer from Attorneys
the legal assistant's information to you is dead wrong. they have to come to you in your state. one cannot validly issue an illinois subpoena to someone in another state. an exception is if it is federal court, the subpoena radius is 100 miles from the federal court house and it may cross state lines. if the party who sunpoened you won't follow the law, then it wouldn't hurt to retain your own counsel for this. it doesn't sound like the plaintiff is trying to hold you personally responsible. the truck carrier is responsible for all. taking the safety manager's dep is pretty standard and my guess is the subject matter will involve the driver's logs, training, hiring, driving procedures, etc.. finally, tell the truth.