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Attorneys for Obtaining an Out-of-State Subpoena for Washington

Lawyers outside of Washington are often left wondering the correct procedure for getting a subpoena recognized by a Washington court.  Say for example, an attorney in Idaho or California wants to compel a witness in Spokane to appear in their state to testify.  First the attorney would need to get a subpoena for their home state. They would also need to get their judge to certify that the witness's testimony is material. Next they would have to find a local lawyer in Washington to bring that foreign subpoena to a local court here in Washington.  Under Washington law, it must be shown that testifying out of state would not amount to an undue hardship for the witness.  This is usually resolved by showing that the witness's travel expenses and time off work would be paid. A Washington judge will "show cause" the prospective witness into court to show why his testimony is not material. There are no court forms for this procedure.  Every judge does this process a little bit differently and some judges have never done this procedure. Court clerks are also often confused about this process. Some practitioners confuse the process for subpoenas for testimony under RCW 10.55.020 with discovery subpoenas under RCW 5.51.020.  The latter statute only applies to subpoena duces tecum not subpoenas for testimony.  The latter process doesn't even involve a judge.  

Our law firm has worked throughout the state to obtain local subpoenas, and we are available to be hired to assist lawyer throughout the country on this process.