2014 Formal Ethics Opinion 7: Use of North Carolina Subpoena to Obtain Documents from Foreign Entity or Individual

North Carolina State Bar Building Photo Courtesy of the North Carolina State Bar

View the Formal Ethics Opinion in Full Here

At its October 24, 2014 meeting, the North Carolina State Bar released 2014 FEO 7 that rules a lawyer may provide a foreign entity or individual with a North Carolina subpoena.  If a lawyer needs to obtain medical records from an individual out of state or a foreign entity, then a subpoena may be used.  However, the lawyer should not mislead the recipient of their authority to require the production of documents, as it is a violation of Rule 8.4(c).  Therefore, that subpoena must be accompanied with a statement or letter explaining that the subpoena is not enforceable in the foreign jurisdiction, the recipient does not have to comply with it, and the subpoena is only for record keeping purposes.  This requirement remains the same even if the lawyer wants to subpoena appearance or testimony of an individual when the lawyer knows North Carolina courts do not have personal jurisdiction.

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About Ana Hopper, Editor-in-Chief Emeritus (33 Articles)
Ana Hopper is a 2016 Campbell Law graduate and served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Campbell Law Observer for the 2015-2016 academic year. She is originally from Winston-Salem and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Sociology. The summer following her first year of law school, Ana worked as a research assistant for Professor Amy Flanary-Smith. Ana also interned at the Criminal Appellate Section of the Department of Justice her second year, and at the New Hanover District Attorney's Office as an intern the summer before her third year. She served as a Legal Research and Writing Scholar, Vice President of BLSA, and Community Chair of Lambda during her time at Campbell.
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