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Photo: blurAZ (Shutterstock) There’s a good chance that if you follow the news at all in the coming year, you’re going to hear the word “subpoena” pretty often. It also seems likely that we’re going to hear a lot about people ignoring subpoenas and refusing to comply with them, which leads to an obvious question: Can you get away with that? On television shows, subpoenas are often treated as magical documents that open doors, force people to testify, and otherwise make stuff happen. And that’s actually not far off from real life: Whether you’ve been subpoenaed to testify ( subpoena ad testificandum ) or to produce tangible evidence like documents ( subpoena duces tecum ), your compliance is a legal requirement. That said, paying your taxes is also a legal requirement and people can get away with skipping that one for years. So can you ignore a subpoena? Sure, of course you can—ignoring a subpoena requires simply doing nothing. The better question is: What happens if you ignore a subpoena? Because it all comes down to enforcement—or lack thereof. How to evade a subpoena Before it comes to ignoring or fleeing a subpoena, folks can try to evade it entirely. First, you can try to avoid being served—subpoenas generally have to be served, in person, to the individual being subpoenaed. If you know a subpoena has been issued, you can try to avoid being served in order to avoid compliance. This is actually legal, but the court (or Congress) […]