If you receive a Grand Jury subpoena it means that the Government is aware of you/your company and believes that you may be a witness to - or part of - an investigation. Your attorney needs to be contacted immediately so that he or she can speak to the prosecutor or regulatory attorney who issued the subpoena. Your attorney should start a dialogue with the prosecutor or regulatory attorney to find out the circumstances as to why the subpoena was issued and what the Government agency is looking for. It also helps you, by letting the Government agency know that you are taking the matter seriously and respectfully.
Step 2 - Develop a Plan
Once your attorney has spoken with the Government agency and is aware of the purpose and goal for the subpoena, develop a plan together as to how to respond. There may be grounds to quash (dismiss) the subpoena. There may be a strategic reason to try and quash the subpoena, or you and your attorney may determine that it is best to simply provide responsive information. No matter what, do not simply ignore the subpoena.
Step 3 - Collect the Requested Documents
Even if the subpoena you receive says "ad testificadum" (for Testimony), it will still likely require you to bring specific documentation to the Grand Jury, or at least provide it to the Government agency. If you and your attorney determine that it is appropriate to provide information, you or your company should collect all of the relevant documentation.
Step 4 - Organize the Requested Documents with Your Attorney
Once you or your company have collected all of the relevant documentation, you should review it with your attorney to determine if it is appropriate to turn-over. Organize the documents that you and your attorney have discussed and are providing to the Governmental agency so that it is easier for them to review the appropriate materials. This will hopefully prevent unnecessary, additional meetings or conversations with the agency.
Step 5 - Prepare for a Meeting or Testimony
You and your attorney may feel that it is appropriate to meet with the Government agency prior to any Grand Jury testimony. In some circumstances, this may convince the agency that your testimony is not needed. If you and your attorney choose to schedule such a meeting, you must be well prepared in advance to answer any questions appropriately, depending on the circumstances.
Step 6 - Be Patient
Most investigations or Grand Jury processes involving subpoenas take time. If you work with your attorney and are patient, the process will move forward. Remember that if you or your company receive a subpoena, the Government has likely already done some preliminary investigation into you/your company and is trying to find out more information. By ignoring a subpoena or acting hastily, you may frustrate the process or even create suspicion.
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