Q. Can I compensate a fact witness for testifying in a civil trial?
A. Under Rule 3.4(b) a lawyer cannot “offer an inducement to a witness that is prohibited by law.” However, Comment  to that Rule makes it clear that it is not improper to pay a witness the reasonable expenses incurred in providing evidence, including reimbursement for the reasonable charges for travel, hotels, meals, child care, or the reasonable value of time spent attending a deposition or hearing or consulting with the lawyer.
ISBA members can browse past ISBA Ethics Opinions, access our Ethics Hotline, and other resources on the ISBA Ethics Page.
[Disclaimer. These questions are representative of calls received on the ISBA’s ethics hotline. The information provided below is meant as an educational tool to highlight potentially applicable Illinois RPC or other ethics resources that might help the lawyer answer the question posed. The information provided isn’t legal advice. Because every situation is different, often complex, and the law is constantly evolving, you shouldn’t rely upon this general information without conducting your own research.]