Category Archives: Discovery/Brady

Fight the Power, Part IV: The Government Backs Off Absurd Claims of “Witness Tampering”

A defendant has a constitutional right to prepare a defense to criminal charges. In a white-collar case, contacting potential witnesses is as important as reviewing the document trail. Why does the government feel threatened when we do our jobs? I … Continue reading

Posted in Discovery/Brady, Obstruction | Leave a comment

Massey Mine Defense Team Wins the Discovery Lottery–But Then Can’t Collect on It?

A few weeks ago, I wrote about some important discovery motions in the Massey Mine trial unfolding in the Southern District of West Virginia. The defense had a nice win recently on one of those motions. But according to a … Continue reading

Posted in Discovery/Brady | Tagged | 3 Comments

The Massey Mine Trial’s Discovery Battles Continue, and Why Rule 16 Still S&%ks

I have previously posted about the upcoming trial of Donald Blankenship, the former CEO of Massey Energy Company. Mr. Blankenship was indicted on several charges, including conspiracy to violate federal mine safety standards, following a fatal explosion at one of … Continue reading

Posted in Discovery/Brady | Tagged | 2 Comments

Can The Ethics Rules Stop Brady Violations?

Brady v. Maryland requires a prosecutor to disclose evidence that is favorable to the defense. Yet many critics have correctly pointed out that unless there exists a way to discipline prosecutors who willfully violate this obligation, it is an abstract … Continue reading

Posted in Appeal, Discovery/Brady, Ethics | Leave a comment

A Brady Win for a Defendant–Finally (and Some Tips to Get Brady Material)

The conviction and sentence of a man in California were recently vacated when it was discovered that the government had improperly withheld exculpatory material from his defense team at trial. We read a lot of stories about the failures of Brady … Continue reading

Posted in Conspiracy, Discovery/Brady, Reversal | 1 Comment

Judge Jed Rakoff Is Never Boring

There have been a lot of reasons to find SDNY Judge Jed S. Rakoff interesting. But the most recent one–involving his resignation from a federal commission over forensic science discovery rules–is in the top 10. (Be sure to read the … Continue reading

Posted in Discovery/Brady | 2 Comments

Question of the Day: Should Defendants Get Complete Discovery Before Deciding Whether To Plead Guilty?

A few days ago, I attended the excellent white collar conference sponsored by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) in Washington, DC. During one of the panels, an interesting topic arose: should criminal defendants be entitled to discovery … Continue reading

Posted in Discovery/Brady, Policy issues | 1 Comment