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Advising the Grand Jury Witness: When Talk Is Not Cheap
By John May
Providing representation to an individual who has received a federal
grand jury subpoena can be one of the most treacherous responsibilities
facing counsel. The wrong advice can result in a witness becoming a
target or it can leave a person who otherwise had no criminal exposure
facing indictment for perjury. Recently, the Court of Appeals for the
District of Columbia Circuit held that witnesses have the right to
review the transcript of their grand jury testimony.1
Although this was not the first decision to permit a witness to have
access to testimony, it is the first decision that both articulates the
reasons why disclosure should be routine and why a showing of a
particularized need is only necessary when either the request comes from
a third party or the witness seeks a personal copy of the transcript.
This article demonstrates why seeking such disclosure should be the rule
and not the exception in grand jury practice.
A Very Typical Scenario
Late one nig
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