A subpoena is generally understood as written order by a government agency (usually the court), to compel testimony or production of evidence from a party in the case, or a third-party. The court must have authority to compel in order for this to be a legitimate order. If the party being compelled does not comply, they can face penalties.
There are two types of commonly-known subpoenas:
subpoena ad testificandum - orders person to testify
subpoena duces tecum - orders person/organization to produce documentation
In Latin "sub poena" translates to "under penalty". Some courts and clerks may spell it as subpena. This term is a carry over from English common law, of which the US court system is heavily influenced.
During a Guam divorce trial, one party accuses the other of adultery, and they believe that email evidence can prove this. Their lawyer makes a request, and the Guam court subpoenas the opposing party's place of employment to turn over emails. Although, this rarely occurs in small civil cases such as divorce trials, it can happen if the court deems it plausible as a form of evidence in the trial decision process.
A motion to compel is a request upon the court to get the opposing party or a third party to take action. These are generally filed when a party that is requesting information or other evidence feels that the opposing side is not being forthright in responding. The result of a motion to compel could end in:
court order upon the opposing side to produce the documentation and/or information
sanctions placed on the non-complying party
denial of motion to compel by the requesting party
In a criminal trial, a Guam DUI lawyer requests information from the Guam Police Department concerning the arresting officer's professional history. GPD refuses to answer the attorney. The lawyer then files a motion to compel with the court. The court determines that the motion is pertinent to the case, and issues a court order ordering GPD to turn over the documents requested by the attorney.
Civil procedure is generally defined as the body of law that sets out the standards and/or rules that courts must follow when adjudicating a civil lawsuit. This only refers to civil trials, and does not apply to criminal law. Basically, these are the rules that govern:
how a trial may commence
Kinds of service of process
statements of case
timing and the manner of depositions/discovery/disclosures
how the court may function
how clerks may function
If you compare it to a sport, like baseball, the rules of the game are essentially the same as civil procedure. As in sports, there are repercussions for not following the rules. These include reprimands, and/or getting a case thrown out.
Discovery refers to the pre-trial phase in case where both Guam attorneys may attempt to gather evidence that they can present to a trial judge. From there the trial judge determines if the evidence is admissible or inadmissible. This is carried out under the law of civil procedure. During the discovery process, each party can attempt to obtain evidence from the opposing party by using difference forms or discovery devices. These devices can include:
requests for answers to interrogatories
requests for the other side to produce documents
requests for admission
requests for deposition
When a person is not a party in the trial, then requests for information from them is obtained via a subpoena. In the case that the opposing party rejects a request for information, the requesting party may then file a motion to compel discovery.
During a Guam Estate planning, one next of kin felt that they were not fairly represented. Because of this, they hire a lawyer and start a lawsuit after the death of their father. The lawyer for the client must now gather evidence to support the case of his client. He subpoenas the Guam estate planning lawyer to produce the documents of the estate planning. He also requests a deposition from the brother named in the lawsuit
This is generally described as the official court-allowed taking and recording of the oral testimony of a witness outside of the court. Depositions are usually performed by the law firm hired to work, the case, but in some cases it can be outsourced to third party legal service providers, at the request of a trial attorney. Usually the person is recorded on video and audio. They are then asked questions by both sides of the case. This recorded evidence is to be presented later in the trial if it is deemed as admissible evidence.
Lawyers take great care during a deposition to ensure that the witness is clear about the question being asked, and that they respond in an appropriate manner. For example: "uh huh", is not an accepted response to a question. "Yes" must be stated instead, to ensure there are no misunderstandings in the answers given by the witness.
During a divorce trial, a Guam divorce lawyer calls for a deposition in his conference room as part of the discovery process. The purpose of this is to gather evidence to be presented to the trial judge to be used as admissible evidence in the upcoming contested divorce trial.
This means that evidence cannot be allowed to be presented to a judge or jury. The reasoning for this is that if does not meet the state or federal (or military) requirements that allow evidence to be presented in court.
This term is the opposite of admissible evidence. The main reason evidence may be deemed inadmissible is if it falls under the hearsay rule. This basically states the quoted testimony from a witness will not be allowed because the witness will not show up during the court trial, and their testimony cannot be proven to be reliable and/or helpful in determining motive.
Other reasons for inadmissibility is when the expert advice of a testimony is deemed to be opinion rather than fact. Lastly, if there is a defect in the evidence, it can also be deemed as inadmissible evidence.
During a Guam divorce case, a deposition is called during the discovery process. During the deposition, the opposing Guam lawyer asks a question that was not clearly stated. The witness replies but appears to not understand the intent of the question. Nobody catches it, and the deposition questioning continues. During the trial, the judge deems that the answer given by the witness was inadmissible and therefore should not be shown during the trial.
This term is related to admissible and inadmissible evidence. There is a general rule that quotes from a witness not present in the court are inadmissible forms of evidence. The main reason for this is that the witness cannot be there in person to be cross-examined by the opposing lawyer. There are usually follow up questions that can be important to the decision in the case. Additionally, the jury is not able to judge the witness at face value when they are giving their testimony.
However, there are exceptions to this, in which testimony or evidence can come form a third party not present in the courtroom. The main requirement for this is that the evidence be spontaneous, reliable, or from an official deposition. There are also other stipulations and special circumstances that are up to the trial judge to decide upon whether an evidence falls under the hearsay rule.
In a lawsuit brought about from a Guam Estate trial case, one son accuses another of influencing the father in his dying days to modify the will. Emails are presented as evidence that show that the older brother apparently sent emails to his acquaintance telling him of his plans to persuade the father. This was spontaneous, and showed the mindset of the accused at the time. Also, the email service verified the authenticity of the email. Because the evidence was deemed both reliable and spontaneous, the trial judge found it not to fall under the hearsay rule, thus making it admissible evidence.
Admissible evidence is evidence that is allowed by the trial judge to be used in court. This is evidence that can be presented to the judge and/or jury that is considering the case. The opposite of admissible is inadmissible; this is when when evidence is not allowed to be presented in court. Different jurisdictions may have differing rules on what evidence is considered admissible for a particular case. With that being said though, many of the US jurisdictions have very similar rules on whether a particular piece of evidence is deemed admissible in a court of law. It should also be noted that federal and military courts also have their own rules on admissible evidence. Most states generally will follow the federal rules of evidence.
In a Guam Criminal Defense case, the lawyer for the prosecution submits a testimony from a bystander. However, the bystander was not able to make it to the court for the trial. The trial judge decides that under the hearsay rule, testimony from a witness not in the court would not be admissible evidence in the trial. Later in the week, the prosecution announces that the bystander is now able make it to the trial to provide firsthand testimony. Under the new situation, the trial judge deems the testimony admissible evidence.
This is the person appointed by the Guam probate court to be the representative for the estate, in the case of a lawsuit.
In Latin, Ad litem roughly translates to "during the litigation".
This only occurs if:
There was no executor/administrator for the estate named during the Guam estate planning phase
The Executor or Administrator is deemed to have a conflict of interest
A father dies and leaves most of his assets to the oldest son. He also makes the oldest son the executor-administrator of the estate. The younger son believes that his older brother applied improper duress upon the father when he was in his dying days to modify his Last Will & Testament to favor the older son. Because, in this case, the older brother is believed to have a conflict of interest in this probate litigation, a replacement Administrator ad litem is appointed by the court to represent the state while the lawsuit is underway.
Probate is the legal process that occurs when someone dies. One of first steps of probate is ensuring that a deceased person's will is valid. It is important that your Guam Will & Testament have all the necessary aspects to ensure it is valid, otherwise the probate process may take longer, tie up asset distribution, and cost your family more in legal fees.
During the Living Will creation process, I sit down with you to ensure I understand the full extent of your physical and financial assets. I also listen intently to ensure that your end-of-life wishes and requests are carefully understood and properly recorded within the Living Will. If you desire to set up a Living Trust for your property, I can also assist you with this process. I have years of experience in in the following: Guam probate, Living Will, Living Trusts, and Guam estate planning.
You can use the form at right, or contact me for a free case evaluation.