"Miller Leonard PC focuses on federal criminal defense, Colorado state criminal defense, Colorado municipal criminal defense and select civil matters such as defending civil orders of protection or sealing records. We put quality before quantity in order to provide superior legal representation. We serve the Denver metropolitan area including Jefferson, Denver, Adams and Arapahoe Counties as well as all of Colorado"
Discovery is the information each side gets from the other. In Federal Court this can be much more problematic than in state court. This is another reason many attorneys prefer not to practice Federal Criminal Defense. As a Colorado Federal Criminal Defense Attorney, Miller Leonard stays on-top of the changing state of federal criminal defense legal issues.
Discovery in Federal Criminal Cases - does it exist? On January 4, 2010 the United State’s Department of Justice issued a Memorandum for Prosecutors with the stated purpose of giving guidance for Prosecutors regarding criminal discovery (here after Memorandum). The Memorandum is a good overview of prosecutorial discovery obligations in federal court.
Unlike Colorado, which provides for open discovery through Colorado Rule of Criminal Procedure 16, discovery obligations at the federal level are much less open and a function of case law, statute and rule. As the Memorandum notes, “[t]he discovery obligations of federal prosecutors are generally established by Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure 16 and 26.2, 18 U.S.C. §3500 (the Jencks Act), Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963), and Giglio v. United States, 405 U.S. 150 (1972).” The interplay of the Rules, Statutes and case law are the basic subject of the Memorandum.
In order to help facilitate discovery, the DOJ has promulgated its own rules for Assistant United States Attorneys. The “Department policy states: It is the obligation of federal prosecutors, in preparing for trial, to seek all exculpatory and impeachment information from all members of the prosecution team. Members of the prosecution team include federal, state, and local law enforcement officers and other government officials participating in the investigation and prosecution of the criminal case against the defendant.” This is an important policy statement and serves to remind to both prosecutor and defense attorney the areas in which they should seek and/or expect discovery.
What to review is as important as where to look for discoverable information. The Memorandum succinctly advises government prosecutors to look in the following areas for information that is discoverable: