FRCP 45 Third-Party Subpoenas: Using or Objecting to Subpoenas to Obtain Testimony and Evidence

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Thursday, August 29, 2019

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926
Program Materials

This CLE webinar will provide trial lawyers with critical guidance on using third-party subpoenas to obtain testimony and evidence under FRCP 45. The panel will also discuss best practices for objecting to, limiting the scope of and quashing subpoenas.


Third-party subpoenas (also called non-party subpoenas) present complex issues of jurisdiction and enforcement. These issues are echoed to some extent in states where the rules of procedure are based on the Federal Rules. FRCP 45 permits the court where the action is pending to issue the subpoena instead of the jurisdiction of a non-party recipient or documents.

Federal courts no longer hear challenges to subpoenas where the action is pending. Instead, the respondent must either appear or produce documents to a "compliance court" with jurisdiction to resolve disputes surrounding the response. This requirement reduces the burden on non-parties who can litigate their compliance locally rather than traveling great distances to challenge a third-party subpoena.

Third-party subpoenas trigger the non-party's obligations to preserve material requested by the subpoena. In the case of ESI, objecting to costly and cumbersome preservation and production is critical.

Listen as our authoritative panel of litigators discusses crucial issues that arise when using third-party subpoenas to obtain testimony and evidence under FRCP 45, and best practices for objecting to, limiting the scope of and quashing subpoenas.



  1. Preparing and serving third-party subpoenas
    1. Required contents
    2. Issuing
    3. Serving
    4. Witness fees
    5. Notice of subpoena
  2. Enforcing the subpoena
    1. Burden of proof
    2. Basis for motion
    3. Relief sought
    4. Where to make the motion
    5. Substance and required documents
  3. Objecting to or limiting the scope of subpoenas
    1. ESI preservation and production
    2. Deposition subpoenas for corporate officers


The panel will review these and other noteworthy issues:

  • What mechanisms does Rule 45 provide for enforcement of the subpoena against non-parties?
  • How does Rule 45 impact deposition or trial subpoenas for corporate officers?
  • What are best practices for non-party recipients of a subpoena for documents to preserve the data and make compelling objections to the scope of the subpoena?


Broz, Kristen
Kristen W. Broz

Fox Rothschild

Ms. Broz centers her practice on complex litigation, with an emphasis on class action, antitrust and mass torts. She...  |  Read More

Corhern, Steven
Steven C. Corhern

Balch & Bingham

Mr. Corhern focuses on complex and appellate litigation. His experience centers on business disputes but also extends...  |  Read More

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