top of page
  • Writer's pictureAdmin

Bill to Bring the Uniform Attendance of Out-of-State Witness Act to Guam


By Pacific Island Times News Staff

Sen. William A. Parkinson has introduced a bill that would facilitate the testimonies of out-of-state witnesses in legal proceedings by streamlining the process and endorsing the use of technology.

William Parkinson

Bill 155-37, titled “Uniform Attendance of Out-of-State Witness Act,” seeks to ensure the consistent application of witness attendance rules. The objective is to promote access to justice and strengthen the integrity of Guam’s legal system.

“The Uniform Out of State Witness Act is a well-crafted and thoughtful approach to addressing the challenges faced when securing the testimony of witnesses residing outside of Guam,” Parkinson said.


The Uniform Attendance of Out-of-State Witness Act, first developed in 1936 through extensive collaboration among legal experts, lawmakers, and stakeholders, provides a comprehensive framework to address the challenges faced by litigants and courts when obtaining the testimony of witnesses residing outside of Guam's jurisdiction.


ADVERTISEMENT

Fifty states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands have adopted the Uniform Attendance of Out-of-State Witness Act. Guam remains one of the few jurisdictions in the United States that have not adopted the Uniform Attendance of Out-of-State Witness Act.


  • Key provisions of the Uniform Attendance of Out-of-State Witness Act include: Videoconferencing and Teleconferencing: The act encourages the use of modern communication technologies to facilitate the participation of out-of-state witnesses in legal proceedings. Videoconferencing and teleconferencing options will enable witnesses to testify remotely, minimizing travel costs and inconveniences while expediting the legal process.

  • Subpoena Enforceability: The act clarifies and strengthens the enforceability of subpoenas issued in other states, ensuring that witnesses who are vital to a case can be compelled to testify without unnecessary delays.

  • Compensation and protection: The act addresses concerns related to witness compensation, accommodations, and protection. It seeks to ensure that witnesses are not deterred from testifying due to financial burdens or safety concerns.

  • Uniformity and certainty: By adopting a standardized approach to out-of-state witness attendance, the act enhances predictability for attorneys, litigants, and courts. This consistency promotes judicial efficiency and minimizes the potential for procedural delays.

  • Interstate cooperation: The act fosters cooperation between states in handling out-of-state witness issues, promoting reciprocity and mutual support in the pursuit of justice.

ADVERTISEMENT

“At the heart of this act lies the incorporation of modern communication technologies. By embracing videoconferencing and teleconferencing options, the legislation allows for remote testimonies of out-of-state witnesses. This provision will not only expedite legal proceedings but also alleviate the burden on witnesses, reducing travel costs and personal inconvenience.


The proposed measure emphasizes the enforceability of subpoenas issued in other states, enabling courts to compel vital witnesses to testify without unnecessary delays.



Subscribe to

our digital

monthly edition

Comments


bottom of page