Supreme Court of New Mexico, et al. v. United States

Brief of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers as Amicus Curiae in Support of Petitioners (on petition for writ of certiorari).

Brief filed: 06/05/2017


Supreme Court of New Mexico, et al. v. United States

United States Supreme Court; Case No. 16-1323

Prior Decision

Decision below 839 F.3d 888 (10th Cir. June 7, 2016).


Attorney grand jury subpoenas erode attorney-client relationships, threaten to disqualify defense counsel and risk creating collateral litigation that serves to burden and distract defense attorneys; they are “disruptive at best, and fatal to the client’s representation at worst.” Max D. Stern & David Hoffman, Privileged Informers: The Attorney Subpoena Problem and a Proposal for Reform, 136 U. Penn. L. Rev. 1783, 1789 (1988). In turn, they risk giving prosecutors an unfair (if unintended) advantage. Rules like New Mexico’s mitigate these risks by discouraging the use of attorney subpoenas except where necessary.

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Jeffrey T. Green and Milton P. Wilkins, Sidley Austin LLP, Washington, DC; Barbara E. Bergman, Tucson, AZ.