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DUCES TECUM

Bring with thee. A writ commonly called a subpoena duces tecum, commanding the person to whom it is directed to bring with him some writings, papers, or other things therein specified and described, to a deposition, to counsel for litigants in an action, or before the court.

In general, all relevant papers in the possession of the witness must be produced, but to this general rule there are exceptions. E.g., attorneys and solicitors who hold the papers of their clients cannot be compelled to produce them, unless the client could have been so compelled; neither can documents that are covered by the 5th Amendment's protection against self-incrimination.

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