I may be served with a subpoena to give a deposition in a Trademark lawsuit against the pastor of my church as an outworking of limited discovery to find others in the church who may have helped in the violation. I do not wish to give any information regarding the church members or their activities, myself included, as I am morally opposed to the suit itself.
What are my rights under the 5th amendment in this situation, if any? While it is a civil suit, the pastor has been found in contempt of court already. I suspect any other Church members who are discovered as a result of the deposition would be added likewise, so I am uncertain if this makes it a purely civil or criminal case for these purposes.
Also, I understand the Court orders my presence at the deposition, however is my participation and answering of all the questions also required by the Court? What are the repercussions if I show up, but refuse to answer?
1 Answer from Attorneys
This is the kind of situation that really requires an attorney. It sounds like your refusal to answer questions could be construed by the court as contempt of court as well. Your "moral opposition" to the lawsuit does not give you a right to refuse to give testimony. You really need to work directly with an attorney rather than seeking information over the internet.
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