Look at Rule 45 here: http://www.uscourts.gov/uscourts/rules/civil-procedure.pdf Also check the court's web site for local rules.
Your best bet is to go to a law library and ask the research librarian to direct you to materials on subpoenaing witnesses. The librarian will not do your research for you and will not tell you how to do it, but should be able to point you in the right direction to find this information.
But . . . why don't you have an attorney? If your case has merit, you should be able to find representation. Without an attorney you are severely disadvantaged. If you are having trouble finding an attorney for your case, there are several possibilities:
-- you are not looking in the right place for the right kind of attorney;
-- your case does not have as much value as you think; or
-- you are not presenting your case in a way that makes sense to the attorneys (note my suggestions below).
Employment attorneys want certain information right up front: the name of the defendant, the name of the employee; if the employee was fired (or denied reasonable accommodation, or laid off, or whatever the issue is, in five words or less); the date this happened; the reason the employer gave for whatever happened; how long the employee worked for the defendant; what job the employee did; how much the employee made; and any deadline.
@MikaSpencer * * * PLEASE READ: All legal actions have time limits, called statutes of limitation. If you miss the deadline for filing your claim, you will lose the opportunity to pursue your case. Please consult with an experienced employment attorney as soon as possible to better preserve your rights. * * * Marilynn Mika Spencer provides information on Avvo as a service to the public, primarily when general information may be of assistance. Avvo is not an appropriate forum for an in-depth response or a detailed analysis. These comments are for information only and must not be taken as legal advice. Legal advice must pertain to specific, detailed facts which are impossible to gather on a public web site like Avvo. * * * No attorney-client relationship is created based on this information exchange. * * *
Ms. Spencer gave you very good answer. Keep in mind that employment lawsuits are easy file but HARD to win, especially in the 4th circuit.
If you don't mind, what are your legal claims? The legal claims to sue an employer are very limited and must be pled specifically. If you miss something early in the case, it will doom you later on.
Also, what most people don't realize is that while your former employer will have to pay its own attorney fees in most cases, they can submit a bill of costs in which the Court can charge to you. This will be any expenses they incurred to defend the case such as deposition transcripts and witness fees. Keep in mind that the transcript for a single deposition can run in the $700 to $1,500 range alone depending on the amount of testimony and exhibits.
As for your question, what you need to do is schedule a deposition of this person. Be aware, that this person may lie and there is not much you can do as the deposition will not be made in the presence of the Judge. You might want to consider not deposing the witness as you might be stuck with those answers I Court.
Also, having a witness declared hostile sounds like a neat trick, but it is more difficult than I sounds and is automatic. You have to make a big showing to the Judge that the person is intentionally lying or uncooperative. Your statements/testimony alone will not be sufficient. I know you don't want to hear this, but to have the witness declared as hostile, you will need an attorney.