March 2019

March 2019 Cover

Does a client have a right to have copies of the evidence? What are some suggestions for creating a record to challenge exclusive custody rules and to protect the client’s rights?


Articles in this Issue

  1. A Client’s Right to Have Copies of the Evidence

    An attorney representing an incarcerated client has just received a package of discovery from the prosecutor. In some jurisdictions, counsel can send physical copies of the discovery to the client or electronic copies to the client’s facility. Other jurisdictions, however, forbid counsel from giving the client copies of the discovery: counsel and her staff must chaperone the discovery, even if that means the client can hand copy everything counsel brings to her. Lisa Steele provides suggestions for creating a record to challenge exclusive custody rules and protect a client’s rights.

    Lisa J. Steele

  2. Affiliate News

    What events are NACDL affiliates hosting this month? Find out here.

    Gerald Lippert

  3. An American Lawyer in Queen Elizabeth’s Court: How NACDL Highlighted the International Consequences

    In 2017, the U.K. High Court of Justice handed down a decision holding that attorney work papers, including witness interview memoranda, were not protected by the “litigation privilege” under U.K. law. Given the frequency of cooperation between the U.K. Serious Fraud Office and the U.S. Department of Justice, NACDL recognized that the decision had implications in the United States. When the case was appealed, NACDL sought to ensure that the U.K. appellate court understood the international implications of the High Court’s decision. This article tells that story.

    Steven F. Molo, Eric R. Nitz, and Ekta R. Dharia

  4. Book Review: Blind Injustice by Mark Godsey

    This month Carrie Sperling reviews Blind Injustice by Mark Godsey.

    Carrie Sperling

  5. Book Review: The War on Kids by Cara Drinan

    This month Robert M. Sanger reviews The War on Kids by Cara Drinan.

    Robert M. Sanger

  6. Capital Cases: Does Reliability Still Matter in Death Penalty Cases?

    The Supreme Court decided Gregg more than 40 years ago, and the promise of a reliable death penalty has still not been met.

    Randolph M. Fiedler

  7. How to Engage the New Client

    The time it takes to complete the initial office interview may vary. In simple cases, defense counsel may be with a client for less than an hour. In more complicated cases, defense counsel may not be able to finish the initial office interview in one day. Gathering the information needed to properly decide on representation (and the appropriate fee) takes time, and the portion of the interview covering the facts and potential defenses is incredibly important. Based on the initial interview, the defense lawyer will make strategic decisions and start the process of defending.

    Denis deVlaming

  8. Informal Opinion: The Empirical Case for Defense Counsel for All, Starting at First Appearance

    Lessons from the Misdemeanor Justice Project

    In criminal cases, the allocation of resources is focused on felonies. However, misdemeanors make up the bulk of judicial dockets and represent an often revolving door of individuals filtering in and out of the criminal justice system.

    Cecilia Low-Weiner, Jenny Roberts, and Thomas Harvey

  9. Inside NACDL: The Loss of a Crusader for a New Paradigm

    Jeff Adachi died suddenly on Feb. 22, 2019. His death came just weeks after he had been sworn in to serve his fifth term as San Francisco Public Defender. His office was recognized for the trailblazing work he led to challenge the tyranny of cash bail.

    Norman Reimer

  10. NACDL News: At the Supreme Court: A Swearing-In Ceremony for NACDL Members

    NACDL News March 2019

    Ivan J. Dominguez and Ian Nawalinski

  11. NACDL News: First Step Act Signed into Law; a Move in Right Direction

    NACDL News March 2019

    Ivan J. Dominguez and Ian Nawalinski

  12. The Value of a Guardian Ad Litem in a Sell Proceeding

    How does a defense lawyer proceed when a defendant has been found incompetent to stand trial and refuses medication? Should defense counsel defend the client’s refusal in all cases (notwithstanding the client’s possible incapacity to make treatment decisions)? Or should counsel second-guess the refusal? No perfect options exist. Professor Fredrick Vars examines a relatively recent case that illuminates an underappreciated option.

    Fredrick E. Vars

  13. We the Jury: Jurors’ Knowledge of Social Media Posts Concerning Potential Riots Results in New Trial

    At Lee Christensen’s trial, several jurors reviewed Facebook posts discussing threats of riots and retaliation against jurors if they did not find the defendant guilty. The Iowa Court of Appeals (Iowa v. Christensen) concluded that the extraneous information introduced into the jury room was calculated to – and with reasonable probability did – influence the jury verdict. Thus, the trial court abused its discretion in denying Christensen’s new trial motion.

    Ama Appiah