Washington, DC (September 12, 2008) -- NACDL commends Congress and the federal judiciary for passage of a modified rule of evidence that will continue to protect the attorney-client privilege in cases where privileged material was inadvertently produced.
“The attorney-client privilege is one of the oldest of evidentiary privileges, and it is critical to maintaining fairness in our adversarial system of justice. Citizens need it in order to obtain every day legal advice, and as litigants, to prepare their cases,” NACDL President John Wesley Hall said. “A client will only confide in his counsel if he trusts that his communications will be kept confidential. By providing that an inadvertent production of privileged material does not result in waiver – as long as reasonable steps were taken to prevent the production and to correct the error – clients’ resources can be redirected to their legal defense, rather than costly and unproductive exercises in reviewing and re-reviewing document production.”
The legislation, which will amend Federal Rule of Evidence 502, also clarifies the law of “subject matter waiver,” in which the provision of one privileged document can result in the waiver of the privilege that covers all related material and documents. “Courts have been maddeningly inconsistent in evaluating what constitutes subject matter waiver, and this language will help,” Hall said.
NACDL has lead efforts to restore the attorney-client privilege to its rightful place in the federal judicial system as a consistent and reliable protection for criminal – and civil—litigants. On August 28, thanks in part to NACDL’s efforts, the Department of Justice altered its long-standing policy that required organizations under investigation to waive the attorney-client privilege that protected statements that were made by their employees to the organizations’ counsel. NACDL continues to fight for passage of S. 3217, “The Attorney-Client Privilege Protection Act of 2008,” in order to clarify and improve upon these changes, make them applicable to other federal agencies, and give them the force of law.
Pattern Cross-Examination for DNA and Biological Evidence: A Trial Strategy Guide
NACDL’s Pattern Cross-Examination for DNA and Biological Evidence will assist criminal defense practitioners in scoring points when cross-examining forensic experts in cases involving DNA and biological evidence. This resource contains thousands of questions that will help defense lawyers cross-examine challenging witnesses without reinventing the wheel with each new case. It includes pattern questions that can be used to dominate prosecution DNA experts and level the playing field at trial.
Cross-Examination of the Analyst in Drug Prosecutions (2nd Ed.) By James M. Shellow
Now in its second edition with some new material, James M. Shellow’s book offers what its title promises: ways of thinking about cross-examining the forensic analysts in drug cases. But the book is so much more than that. It offers a look inside the mind of one of the finest cross-examiners and defense lawyers the United States has produced in the last seventy years. This small book can inspire and direct you in making big changes in the way you defend your clients and think about the entire project of trying any case.
Justice For All, Justice Now White T-Shirt (Women’s)
This custom, vintage-faded NACDL t-shirt is 50% polyester, 25% cotton, and 25% rayon weighing 5.2 oz. and is lightwieght, flexible and soft, providing maximum comfort. It features the "Justice For All, Justice Now" slogan and Lady Liberty image on the front, with the NACDL logo on the back. Currently available in both men's and women's sizes in both black and white colors. View the full line-up of colors and sizes on our online store, as well as our other popular and best-selling t-shirt designs at: nacdl.org/store.
Drug Cases Resource Materials Collection - CD-ROM
NACDL’s Drug Cases Resource Materials Collection is the sweeping culmination of every single article of written materials ever published from each installment of NACDL's annual "Defending Modern Drug Cases" seminar. Totaling over 12,000 pages, this vast collection includes 12+ years of motions, briefs, reports, outlines, transcripts, case citations, scholarly articles, powerpoints and other written commentaries. This collection provides trial strategies and tactics you can immediately apply to your current cases.
Mental Illness & the Law: Addressing and Litigating Behavioral Health Disorders in Criminal Cases
Whether it is insanity, impairment, a disorder, or adolescent brain development; mental health and intellectual competence issues affect pretrial supervision, trial and sentencing, and your chances of successfully advocating for your impaired client. This training provides ideas and proven solutions to assist you in advocating for your client during trial, whether it be insanity defenses, jury selection, cross of expert witnesses, persuasion, or mitigation at sentencing.
NACDL Communications Department
The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is the preeminent organization advancing the mission of the criminal defense bar to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime or wrongdoing. A professional bar association founded in 1958, NACDL's many thousands of direct members in 28 countries – and 90 state, provincial and local affiliate organizations totaling up to 40,000 attorneys – include private criminal defense lawyers, public defenders, military defense counsel, law professors and judges committed to preserving fairness and promoting a rational and humane criminal legal system.