Many lawyers think that the law concerning depositions is set out only in the Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure and the case law interpreting those rules. That is not correct.
Public Chapter 55 creates a new subsection to TCA Section 24-9-101, which allows court to award attorney fees and expenses if motion to quash subpoena is granted when the witness is exempt from subpoena to trial. The new subsection is labeled (b).
What is the text of subsection (a)? In other words, what classes of people are exempt from subpoena to trial? Here is the list:
(1) An officer of the United States;
(2) An officer of this state;
(3) An officer of any court or municipality within the state;
(4) The clerk of any court of record other than that in which the suit is pending;
(5) A member of the general assembly while in session, or clerk or officer thereof;
(6) A practicing physician, psychologist, senior psychological examiner, chiropractor, dentist or attorney;
(7) A jailer or keeper of a public prison in any county other than that in which the suit is pending; and
(8) A custodian of medical records, if such custodian files a copy of the applicable records and an affidavit with the court and follows the procedures provided in title 68, chapter 11, part 4, for the production of hospital records pursuant to a subpoena duces tecum.
Here is a copy of Public Acts 2009, Public Chapter 55.
Finally, remember that Part 2 of Chapter 9 of Title 24 is the Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act. This Part was substantially revised in 2008. It now contains the following sections:
24-9-201. Short title.
24-9-202. Part definitions.
24-9-203. Issuance of subpoena.
24-9-204. Service of subpoena.
24-9-205. Deposition, production, and inspection.
24-9-206. Application to court.
24-9-207. Award of attorney’s fees and expenses.
To see other changes to Tennessee statutory law in 2009 that is of interest to tort lawyers click on the Legislation 2009 Category.