Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Lots going on

Thanks to all my peeps for sending lots of tips the last couple of days. There's lots going on:

1. Judge Zloch is in the news. From not letting Bradley Birkenfeld -- the UBS informant -- push off his surrender date to spanking Loring Spolter. The 60 Minutes gambit by Birkenfeld didn't pay off, I guess. As for Spolter, I'm surprised he's getting as much sympathy as he is: check out Bob Norman's blog here.

2. In the wake of a tough year for DOJ, there are new discovery guidelines for prosecutors. Here are the 3 new memos that criminal practitioners on both sides of the aisle will be reading today:

Issuance of Guidance and Summary of Actions Taken in Response to the Report of the Department of Justice Criminal Discovery and Case Management Working Group

Requirement for Office Discovery Policies in Criminal Matters

Guidance for Prosecutors Regarding Criminal Discovery

Tom Withers covers the memos here. A snippet from his summary:

The Guidance Memo then directs that the discovery review should cover the following: 1) the investigative agency’s files, 2) Confidential Informant/Witness/Source files, 3) Evidence and Information Gathered During the Investigation, 4) Documents or Evidence Gathered by Civil Attorneys and/or Regulatory Agencies in Parallel Civil Investigations, 5) Substantive Case Related Communications, 6) Potential Giglio Information Relating to Law Enforcement Witnesses, 7) Potential Giglio Information Relating to Non-Law Enforcement Witnesses and Fed.R.Evid. 806 Declarants, 8) Information Obtained in Witness Interviews, a) Witness Statement Variations and the Duty to Disclose, b) Trial Preparation Meetings With Witnesses and c) Agent Notes.
The Guidance Memo then directs that although prosecutors may delegate the process of review to others, they “should not delegate the disclosure determination itself.”

3. Lots of coverage on the shootings from Las Vegas. Just terrible stuff. Here's the video that is making the internet rounds:

And here's Brian Tannebaum's take:

Today at every federal courthouse security will be a little tighter. People will get a second look, maybe a third. There is no correlation between what happened in Las Vegas yesterday and federal court anywhere else. People get angry at the grocery store, at the post office, and at work. But it's like when someone with a shoe bomb tries to blow up a plane, well, you know the rest.We (those who go to court) all have to deal with what happened yesterday. It will happen again, we all know that. But because we cannot stop a sick, angry litigant from sneaking in with a gun, a shotgun, we have to at least pretend we can. The gunman was dressed in black. Watch "no black" be the next addition to the dress code. We can only sigh and understand that this is the world in which we live.It angers me that today I have to mourn the death of a Court Security Officer, a retired cop now one of the guys in blue jackets that waive familiar lawyers through, and say "how you doin' today counsel?". A guy who just "went to work" right after the new year, and left the courthouse dead. Five seconds before he was probably talking to a prosecutor, defense lawyer, or fellow security officer about his New Year's vacation. or the weekend's football games.Pisses me off.

4. Random thought of the day: Why does Blogger say that internet is misspelled?


Anonymous said...

But yet, Brian would defend this person if the price was right! Spare us Brian......

Anonymous said...


Not only would Brian represent him, he'd even represent you even though clearly, you don't deserve the benefits of the constitution if you can't understand them.