HOT – California Appellate Court: PIs must provide oral reports to DA

The California Third Appellate District, in a published decision last week, ruled that criminal defense attorneys must provide the prosecution with all relevant reports, whether written or oral, of testifying defense witnesses. This is a further clarification of the reciprocal discovery rule, section 1054.3 of the Penal Code.

The prevailing defense assumption has been that relevant recorded and written statements, whether in raw notes or finalized reports, of defense witnesses, called at trial, are the only defense investigator-generated discovery subject to PC 1054.3. Defense attorneys will unlikely want to be in the situation of having their investigator give an oral iteration of witness interviews. Criminal defense attorneys and investigators can deepen their knowledge of how to comply with the dual legal requirements of reciprocal discovery and advocacy for their clients, by attending the Capital Case Defense Seminar, sponsored every February by the California Attorneys for Criminal Justice.

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