November 06, 2007

In this New York Law Journal article, Partners Katya Jestin and Andrew Weissmann describe a little-noticed opinion issued this year by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, United States v. Rodriguez, which could have “a palpable effect” on prosecutorial practices regarding the scope and timing of Brady disclosures by the government.  Among other things, the article says that the Court’s decision in Rodriguez arms the defense bar with a powerful argument that the government's perennial practice of providing only the identity of a Brady witness may be constitutionally deficient.  The article asserts that the Rodriguez decision should compel more complete and timely production by the government of Brady material, and offers further suggestions for an amended policy to ensure that the government complies with its Brady obligations.