You’ve been served! Your business partner is suing you for intellectual property. Here’s what you need to know.

A subpoena is essentially a formal request to deliver documents to the Court, attend Court to give evidence from the witness box, or both. It is designed to help the parties to the case access relevant evidence that will help the Court make its decision.

Subpoenas will be enforced by the Court, so make sure you don’t wait until the last minute to prepare. Having said that, there is no need to panic, either. Read through the entire document – it should contain information needed to guide you through a response.

The subpoena will probably list in a “Schedule” the documents that you must provide to the Court. Find the documents in your “power, possession or control” that fit the descriptions of the documents listed in the Schedule. If you don’t have access to some documents, that’s okay – just collate the documents you do have and deliver them to the court with a covering letter.

Make sure you speak with a lawyer as soon as possible to guide you through any serious matters that this subpoena may relate to.

Advice from Luke Topfer, an Associate at Australian Business Lawyers & Advisors, and finalist in the ‘Top 230 under 30 Lawyer’ category for the 2018 Australasian Law Awards. 
"Subpoenas will be enforced by the Court, so make sure you don’t wait until the last minute to prepare."