In a civil action, aren't plaintiffs and defendants automatically included as witnesses (regardless of whether or not they're listed on their own pretrial witness lists)? This is a very specific question and has nothing to do with refusal to testify under fifth amendment protection against self-incrimination. Nor does this question have anything to do with third-party witnesses (who MUST be disclosed pretrial along with a summary of their expected testimony). This question only addresses whether or not the principal party litigants (plaintiffs and defendants) are treated the same as third-party witnesses (or if they're already automatically included as witnesses expected to testify anyway). If plaintiffs leave their names off their own pretrial witness list, does this mean that they're precluded from testifying in their case-in-chief (even if defendants already have plaintiffs already listed on their own witness lists)? I'm a paralegal myself and I can't find the answer, nor can I find anyone (attorneys) who knows the definitive answer to this question.
It depends on your local rules for the specific court. For example, local rules for one of my local courts states that no witness not listed shall testify except to prevent manifest injustice. There is always the possibility of meeting that exception. Also, if you are proceeding pro se, just use your opening and closing to say what you want to the jury. You can't be crossed and probably not objected to.
The answer above is not intended to be legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is intended to be formed by providing the general information. Please consider consulting an attorney licensed to practice in your state for legal advice specific and appropriate to your situation.
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