Many know that lawyers are required to turn over non-privileged documents during discovery when the opposing party requests them to do so. Imagine, however, that the burden extends to proactively disclose information, even when there is no request and/or even when the lawyer is not aware of any evidence or connection to the existing matter.
In 1963, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in Brady v. Maryland. The “Brady Rule” established that in criminal proceedings, the prosecutor must disclose trial evidence that is favorable to the defense and material on the issue of guilt or punishment. Christopher R. Ulrich (“CRU”) explains the “Brady Rule” in detail in his article, “The impossibility of Brady: Compliance depends on imagination“, published in The Daily Journal on Friday, November 27, 2020. Under the “Brady Rule,” even a victim’s dreams could be required to be disclosed to the defense in certain situations. CRU’s article details hypothetical, yet realistic, scenarios in which the prosecutor must fulfill his constitutional obligation and be diligent in his disclosure, despite the potential harm it can cause to the officers, victims, and others involved in the matter.