Subpoena Exemption – Physician assistants are now exempt from subpoena to trial in Tennessee under new 2012 legislation

Posted on Jul 30 2012 8:29AM by Attorney, Jason A. Lee

T.C.A. § 24-9-101 provides a list of individuals who are exempt from subpoena to trial in Tennessee.  All of these individuals are still subject to subpoena for a deposition in Tennessee but they can not be compelled to appear at trial by subpoena.  T.C.A. § 24-9-101 provides as follows: 


(a) Deponents exempt from subpoena to trial but subject to subpoena to a deposition are:

(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, physician assistant, 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.

(b) If the court grants a motion to quash a subpoena issued pursuant to subsection (a), the court may award the party subpoenaed its reasonable attorney's fees and expenses incurred in defending against the subpoena.


On April 4, 2012 a new bill was passed and signed into law by Governor Haslam that modified this statute.  Tennessee Public Chapter No. 678 added “physician assistant” to the list of individuals who are exempt from subpoena to trial.  As a result, starting on April 4, 2012, physician assistants are not subject to subpoena to trial and, therefore, must be subpoenaed to a deposition prior to trial in order to secure their testimony unless they voluntarily agree to appear at trial.  As a result, Tennessee litigation attorneys need to be aware of this change if they want to present testimony from a physician assistant at trial.

TAGS: Discovery, Civil Procedure, Miscellaneous
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Jason A. Lee is a Member of Burrow Lee, PLLC. He practices in all areas of defense litigation inside and outside of Tennessee.

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Tennessee Defense Litigation Blog
Jason A. Lee, Member of Burrow Lee, PLLC
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Nashville, TN 37203
Phone: 615-540-1004
E-mail: jlee@burrowlee.com