United States v. Davila

Amicus curiae brief of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in support of Respondent.

Brief filed: 03/22/2013


United States v. Davila

United States Supreme Court; Case No. 12-167

Prior Decision

Decision below 664 F.3d 1355 (11th Cir. 2011).

Question Presented

Whether the court of appeals erred in holding that any degree of judicial participation in plea negotiations, in violation of Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11(c)(1), automatically requires vacatur of a defendant's guilty plea, irrespective of whether the error prejudiced the defendant.


Judicial participation in plea negotiations disrupts and undermines the plea bargain process. Treating Rule 11(C) violations as inherently prejudicial does not disrupt the federal criminal justice system. Judicial participation should be treated as inherently prejudicial.

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John B. Owens, Daniel B. Levin, Michael J. Mongan, John P. Mittelbach of Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP, Los Angeles, CA; Jonathan Hacker, Washington, DC.