On October 3, 2016, only six weeks prior to the scheduled trial date, the government executed a post-indictment search warrant at a location that the prosecution team knew was being used exclusively by the defense team as a satellite law office or litigation “war room” for trial preparation. Even after defense counsel cautioned the prosecutor that she was jeopardizing the integrity of the prosecution by invading the defense camp, she nevertheless directed government agents to proceed onward. Refusing to provide the defendants or their attorneys a copy of the warrant, agents entered the space, seized and boxed up documents and electronic data that the defense team had itself generated and was reviewing and using to prepare for trial. In effect, the post-indictment search stripped the defense naked and paralyzed a significant component of the defense.I mean, this is getting ridiculous already. Let's see how this plays out.
Perhaps more troubling, government agents became exposed to substantial defense work product, including records that revealed defense strategies. Government agents observed which documents were deemed relevant by defense counsel and consultants. Government agents observed how the defense was preparing for trial. The government’s decision to utilize a search warrant to circumvent discovery and trial procedures contemplated by the rules of criminal procedure – see, e.g., Rules 16 and 17, Fed. R. Crim. P. – resulted in a quagmire of its own creation.
This unprecedented post-indictment invasion of the defense camp, which has disrupted trial preparation and given the government access to insider information about defense strategy, warrants dismissal of the Superseding Indictment. Alternatively, the Court should, at a minimum, a) suppress and order the return of all records seized; b) disqualify the prosecution team from further participation in this case; c) prohibit the government’s review of any materials until a procedure for determining privilege is established; and d) order other and further relief that may be appropriate after an evidentiary hearing.
Monday, October 24, 2016
More intrusions into the defense camp
This time, the case is before Judge Scola. But it's another Howard Srebnick case involving the DOJ Fraud section from DC. (You remember the last time this issue came up with the copy service). This time the government allegedly searched a defense team's war room. Srebnick's 32-page motion is here. The introduction summarizes truly outrageous conduct: