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NACDL News: Department of Justice Successfully Blocks Public Access to Its Federal Criminal Discovery Blue Book

By Ivan J. Dominguez, Alexandra Funk, and Ian Nawalinski

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The Department of Justice (DOJ) filed notice on Jan. 17, 2018, of its decision not to appeal the release of an extremely limited portion of its Federal Criminal Discovery Blue Book. The portion of the Blue Book that the court found was not work product was a tiny fraction — what amounts to not much more than a handful of pages — out of a manual that contains at least 265 pages.

The United States District Court for the District of Columbia denied NACDL’s request for full disclosure because it found, as the government contended in this lawsuit, that virtually the entire manual is work product: strategic guidance for federal prosecutors on how to litigate against defense discovery requests. This is proof that the DOJ misled Congress in 2012 when it said that its Federal Criminal Discovery Blue Book, distributed in 2011 to every federal prosecutor and paralegal, “comprehensively covers the law, policy, and practice of prosecutors’ disclosure obligations.” The DOJ pointe

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  • Media inquiries: Contact NACDL's Director of Public Affairs & Communications Ivan J. Dominguez at 202-465-7662 or idominguez@nacdl.org
  • Academic Requests: Full articles of The Champion Magazine are available for academic and research purposes in the WestLaw and LexisNexis databases.
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