Subpoenas, Depositions, and Legal Process
In any instance where a person is served a subpoena, notice of deposition, or other legal process that relates to University business, that person shall immediately inform the Attorney General's Office at (206) 543-4150. This requirement does not apply to cases where the relation of the person to the legal proceedings is purely personal. University Handbook, Vol. II, Section 12-27.
FAQ on Subpoenas1. What is a Subpoena or Notice of Deposition?
- A subpoena is a written order issued by a court, an officer of the court (this can be an attorney) or an administrative agency requiring a witness to testify at a trial or deposition.
- A subpoena duces tecum is a written order requiring a witness to testify and produce documents or records for use as evidence. Often, the subpoena duces tecum is accompanied by a letter providing the option of supplying certified copies of the original documents in lieu of appearing at a deposition.
- In the state of Washington, a subpoena or subpoena duces tecum accompanies a Notice of Deposition, which is written notice to all parties in a lawsuit that one party intends to take a deposition.
- A deposition is oral or written testimony given by a witness in advance of a trial or hearing.
These are time-sensitive documents, invested with the authority of the law, requiring action by the party to whom they are directed. Most often a date is given by which the action must be performed. If you have received one of these documents and do not know how to proceed, please call the Attorney General's Office immediately at (206) 543-4150. These documents should be responded to as quickly as possible.2. I have received a subpoena that is directed to me personally. What should I do?
If the subpoena is directed to you because of the position you hold and the work you do for the University of Washington, contact the Attorney Generalís Office immediately for assistance and advice.
If the subpoena is directed to you because of personal knowledge you may have regarding an incident or dispute that does not concern the University of Washington or your employment with the University, you must respond to the subpoena on your own or by seeking the advice of private legal counsel. The Attorney Generalís Office is prevented by statute from providing legal advice to a member of the public.3. I have received a subpoena from someplace outside of Washington. Do I still need to respond to it?
Please immediately fax a copy of the subpoena and any accompanying documents to the Attorney Generalís Office for review. With a few important exceptions, subpoenas issued by the courts of other states do not have jurisdictional authority over the University of Washington. The Attorney General's Office will evaluate the subpoena and establish whether compliance is necessary.4. I have a subpoena that was misdirected and only just now reached me. The deposition date has passed. Is that a problem?
Yes, that may be a problem. Please fax a copy of the subpoena and any accompanying documents to the Attorney Generalís Office immediately. The University of Washington is vulnerable to court sanctions or court orders compelling the subpoenas. If you are contacted by the issuer of the subpoena, please refer that person to the Attorney Generalís Office.
Attorney General's Office     Phone: (206) 543-4150     Fax: (206) 543-0779