STAND AND DELIVER: Use of Subpoenas In Workers' Compensation (“Stand and Deliver” – the command by a highwayman to his victim in 18th Century England.)

by Kermit N. Sprang (April 6, 2016)


Sent out repeatedly by all of the participants in the process, the subpoena for records is easily the most frequently-used official document in workers’ compensation practice, yet it remains poorly understood, and frequently misused. Understanding its essentials will prevent you from being a victim of modern-day highway robbery.

Who May Issue a Subpoena?

Let’s start with a seemingly simple question: who can issue a subpoena? To judge by the custom and practice in workers' compensation, the answer appears to be absolutely anyone who wants to. Not so. Code of Civil Procedure § 1985 states that a subpoena may be issued by “... an attorney at law who is the attorney of record in an action or proceeding, may sign and issue a subpoena ¼.” Anyone else who wants to send out a subpoena must have it issued by the Clerk of the Superior Court.