Archive | 3500 Material

Friday, June 22nd, 2018

SDNY Judge Issues Guidelines Regarding Use of 302 Forms in Criminal Trials

An FYI for counsel who will be cross-examining witnesses in SDNY Judge Katherine B. Forrest’s Courtroom.  Judge Forrest has issued “Guidelines Regarding Appropriate Use of 302 Forms in Criminal Trials.”  You can read the Guidelines here and may need to plan ahead where you need to use a 302 to complete the impeachment of a witness.

In the eight-page document, the Court addresses what it sees as the “most common issues related to the proper use of 302s.”  After discussing how the Federal Rules of Evidence apply to the use of 302s, the Court concludes: “It is clear that statements included in 302s are therefore classic hearsay without — in and of themselves — requisite indicia of reliability.”  Because the Court views mention that the witness’s statements contained in the 302 were written down by an FBI agent as “giving [the statement] an indicia of reliability,” it will preclude counsel …

Posted By
Categories: 3500 Material, cross-examination, evidence, impeachment

Continue Reading
Tuesday, May 15th, 2018

Judge Woods Grants New Trial Due to Jencks Act Violation

The Supreme Court issued a number of significant opinions yesterday, but it is worth highlighting an important district court decision that might otherwise escape notice. This month, Southern District Judge Gregory Woods issued an opinion and order granting a new trial based on the government’s inadvertent failure to provide Jencks Act material—specifically the notes of proffer sessions with a key cooperating witness. Judge Woods’s opinion in United States v. Russell, No. 16-cr-396 (May 4, 2018), DE 618, is available here.

Mr. Russell was the sole person who went to trial among twenty-one defendants who were indicted in a cocaine distribution conspiracy. The government’s principal witness at the trial, Kenneth Ashe, testified pursuant to a cooperation agreement. After a short trial, involving only five witnesses and two days of testimony, Mr. Russell was convicted of conspiracy to sell crack cocaine and a 924(c) charge. Mr. Ashe’s testimony was …

Posted By
Categories: 3500 Material, harmless error

Continue Reading
Friday, August 13th, 2010

PC World

United States v. Shyne, No. 08-0865-cr (2d Cir. August 5, 2010) (Kearse, Sack, Hall, CJJ) (per curiam)

An unusual discovery issue is the theme of this per curiam opinion.

Three defendants went to trial on bank fraud and money laundering charges. Before trial, the government provided notice that it would offer statements of five other individuals as co-conspirators’ declarations under Fed.R.Evid.801(d)(2)(E), although it was not planning to call them as witnesses. The government also provided Giglio material as to these declarants. In response, the defendants demanded the declarants’ 3500 material – specifically their proffer notes – even though they would not be testifying at trial. The district court denied the application and, here, the circuit affirmed.

The Jencks Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3500, by its very terms applies only to a “witness” who has “testified on direct examination,” and is not “trumped” by Fed.R.Evid 806, which provides that the credibility …

Posted By
Categories: 3500 Material, Jencks Act, Rule 806, Uncategorized

Continue Reading