Informal Opinion Number: 950264

Rules: 8.4(d)
Maintaining the Integrity of the Profession

QUESTION: Attorney intends to subpoena records related to Attorney´s client. Attorney asks whether the procedures are different since the client´s, rather than a non-party´s, records are the subject of the subpoena. ANSWER: In Missouri, the purpose of a subpoena is to compel the attendance of an individual or representative of an organization. The subpoena may also compel the person to whom it is addressed to bring documents to this appearance. If the subpoena is used in litigation in which there is an opposing party, Attorney may not use the subpoena to obtain the documents and waive the appearance. The procedures do not change if the documents are documents to which Attorney´s client should otherwise have access. If Attorney must obtain the documents through subpoena because Attorney is unable to obtain them through a request or demand by Attorney´s client, Attorney must follow these procedures.

Informal Opinions are ethics advisory opinions issued by the Office of Legal Ethics Counsel to members of the Bar about Rule 4 (Rules of Professional Conduct), Rule 5 (Complaints and Proceedings Thereon), and Rule 6 (Fees to Practice Law) pursuant to Missouri Supreme Court Rule 5.30(c). Written summaries of select Informal Opinions are published for informational purposes as determined by the Advisory Committee of the Supreme Court of Missouri pursuant to Rule 5.30(c). Informal opinion summaries are advisory in nature and are not binding. These opinions are published as an educational service and do not constitute legal advice.

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