Sunday, July 24, 2011

Criminal Case Dismissed for Discovery Abuse (CT)

Conn. High Court Dismisses Criminal Case for Discovery Abuse, Conn. Law Tribune (via, July 20, 2011. Searching the defendant's computer for child pornography, the prosecutor found a document from defense counsel outlining strategy and key witnesses. On appeal, the Connecticut Supreme Court reversed. State v. Lenarz, No. SC 18561 (July 19, 2011), majority, dissent.

The majority opinion concludes:

This is a case in which the prosecutor clearly invaded privileged communications that contained a detailed, explicit road map of the defendant’s trial strategy. Compounding the problem, the prosecutor not only failed to inform the defendant and the trial court of the invasion immediately, but also continued to handle the case, to meet repeatedly with witnesses and investigators and ultimately to try the case to conclusion more than one year after the invasion occurred. Under these circumstances, any remedy other than the dismissal of the criminal charge of which the defendant was convicted would constitute a miscarriage of justice.

The dissent opens:
Until today, no federal or state court in this country ever has presumed a sixth amendment violation on the basis of a government’s unintentional breach of the attorney-client relationship, and no federal or state court ever has dismissed criminal charges due to such a breach. Indeed, until today, this court never has ordered the dismissal of criminal charges as a remedial
I haven't read all the pages of argument on each side, but even from this much, it seemed well worth a post.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Implicit Social Cognition

A forthcoming article explores the role of implicit social cognition in police stops. L. Song Richardson, Arrest Efficiency and the Fourth Amendment, 95 Minn. L. Rev. __ (forthcoming 2011), available at

UW law professor Mary Fan discusses the article and offers her own reflections: Mary D. Fan, Subconscious Impact, Jotwell, July 18, 2011.