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Maine Lawyers Can Make Reasonable Payments to Fact Witnesses

April 19, 2021, 3:48 PM

Maine lawyers can pay non-expert witnesses, or fact witnesses, for reasonable costs associated with their testimony, the state bar said.

State ethics rules allow lawyers to advance these litigation costs for repayment at a later date or, in the case of an indigent client, cover them entirely, the Board of Overseers of the Bar said April 15.

Witness-related expenses must be included in written fee agreements executed before costs are incurred, it said. And payments can’t violate ethics rule 3.4 (a), which prohibits offering an illegal inducement to a witness to testify, the opinion said.

The decision agreed with a...

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