Monday, May 26, 2014

Witness Fee Statute Changes

Mississippi has amended its witness fee statute effective July 1, 2014.  A link to the amended bill is located here.  Essentially, a party subpoenaing a witness will be required to tender the mileage rate under Mississippi Code Annotated 25-3-41which is based on the federal rate plus the amount a party would receive if they were a juror as set forth in Mississippi Code Annotated 25-7-61.  I suspect this change will catch a few people off guard.  This is going to drive the cost of litigation up to some degree.  I suspect there will be a lot less subpoenas issued for witnesses.  I normally subpoena my witnesses for trial even the favorable ones.    The reason is pretty simple, if no subpoena issued, no basis for a continuance if they do not appear.  I believe a witness may waive their fee just as they may waive process.  I am going to look at tweaking one of my waiver forms to try to reduce costs for clients and get around the statutory change. 

Sometime after the holiday, I am going to try to find out the rate for a juror in Desoto County.  Once I find out, I will post it. 

No comments:

Post a Comment