Source(As amended Feb. 28, 1966, eff. July 1, 1966; Apr. 22, 1974, eff. Dec. 1, 1975; Pub. L. 94–64, § 3(20)–(28), July 31, 1975, 89 Stat. 374, 375; Pub. L. 94–149, § 5, Dec. 12, 1975, 89 Stat. 806; Apr. 28, 1983, eff. Aug. 1, 1983; Mar. 9, 1987, eff. Aug. 1, 1987; Apr. 30, 1991, eff. Dec. 1, 1991; Apr. 22, 1993, eff. Dec. 1, 1993; Apr. 29, 1994, eff. Dec. 1, 1994; Apr. 11, 1997, eff. Dec. 1, 1997; Apr. 29, 2002, eff. Dec. 1, 2002; Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title I, § 11019(b), Nov. 2, 2002, 117 Stat. 1825.)
Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1944
Whether under existing law discovery may be permitted in criminal cases is doubtful, United States v. Rosenfeld, 57 F.2d 74 (C.C.A. 2d)—cert. den., 286 U.S. 556. The courts have, however, made orders granting to the defendant an opportunity to inspect impounded documents belonging to him, United States v. B. Goedde and Co., 40 F.Supp. 523, 534 (E.D.Ill.). The rule is a restatement of this procedure. In addition, it permits the procedure to be invoked in cases of objects and documents obtained from others by seizure or by process, on the theory that such evidential matter would probably have been accessible to the defendant if it had not previously been seized by the prosecution. The entire matter is left within the discretion of the court.
Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1966 Amendment
The extent to which pretrial discovery should be permitted in criminal cases is a complex and controversial issue. The problems have been explored in detail in recent legal literature, most of which has been in favor of increasing the range of permissible discovery. See, e.g. Brennan, The Criminal Prosecution: Sporting Event or Quest for Truth, 1963 Wash.U.L.Q. 279; Everett, Discovery in Criminal Cases—In Search of a Standard, 1964 Duke L.J. 477; Fletcher, Pretrial Discovery in State Criminal Cases, 12 Stan.L.Rev. 293 (1960); Goldstein, The State and the Accused: Balance of Advantage in Criminal Procedure, 69 Yale L.J. 1149, 1172–1198 (1960); Krantz, Pretrial Discovery in Criminal Cases: A Necessity for Fair and Impartial Justice, 42 Neb.L.Rev. 127 (1962); Louisell, Criminal Discovery: Dilemma Real or Apparent, 49 Calif.L.Rev. 56 (1961); Louisell, The Theory of Criminal Discovery and the Practice of Criminal Law, 14 Vand.L.Rev. 921 (1961); Moran, Federal Criminal Rules Changes: Aid or Illusion for the Indigent Defendant? 51 A.B.A.J. 64 (1965); Symposium, Discovery in Federal Criminal Cases, 33 F.R.D. 47–128 (1963); Traynor, Ground Lost and Found in Criminal Discovery, 39 N.Y.U.L.Rev. 228 (1964); Developments in the Law—Discovery, 74 Harv.L.Rev. 940, 1051–1063. Full judicial exploration of the conflicting policy considerations will be found in State v. Tune, 13 N.J. 203, 98 A.2d 881 (1953) and State v. Johnson, 28 N.J. 133, 145 A.2d 313 (1958); cf. State v. Murphy, 36 N.J. 172, 175 A.2d 622 (1961); State v. Moffa, 36 N.J. 219, 176 A.2d 1 (1961). The rule has been revised to expand the scope of pretrial discovery. At the same time provisions are made to guard against possible abuses.
Subdivision (a).—The court is authorized to order the attorney for the government to permit the defendant to inspect and copy or photograph three different types of material:
(1) Relevant written or recorded statements or confessions made by the defendant, or copies thereof. The defendant is not required to designate because he may not always be aware that his statements or confessions are being recorded. The government’s obligation is limited to production of such statements as are within the possession, custody or control of the government, the existence of which is known, or by the exercise of due diligence may become known, to the attorney for the government. Discovery of statements and confessions is in line with what the Supreme Court has described as the “better practice” (Cicenia v. LaGay, 357 U.S. 504, 511 (1958)), and with the law in a number of states. See e.g., Del. Rules Crim. Proc., Rule 16; Ill.Stat. Ch. 38, § 729; Md. Rules Proc., Rule 728; State v. McGee, 91 Ariz. 101, 370 P.2d 261 (1962); Cash v. Superior Court, 53 Cal.2d 72, 346 P.2d 407 (1959); State v. Bickham, 239 La. 1094, 121 So.2d 207, cert. den. 364 U.S. 874 (1960); People v. Johnson, 356 Mich. 619, 97 N.W.2d 739 (1959); State v. Johnson, supra; People v. Stokes, 24 Miss.2d 755, 204 N.Y.Supp.2d 827 (Ct.Gen.Sess. 1960). The amendment also makes it clear that discovery extends to recorded as well as written statements. For state cases upholding the discovery of recordings, see, e.g., People v. Cartier, 51 Cal.2d 590, 335 P.2d 114 (1959); State v. Minor, 177 A.2d 215 (Del.Super.Ct. 1962).
(2) Relevant results or reports of physical or mental examinations, and of scientific tests or experiments (including fingerprint and handwriting comparisons) made in connection with the particular case, or copies thereof. Again the defendant is not required to designate but the government’s obligation is limited to production of items within the possession, custody or control of the government, the existence of which is known, or by the exercise of due diligence may become known, to the attorney for the government. With respect to results or reports of scientific tests or experiments the range of materials which must be produced by the government is further limited to those made in connection with the particular case. Cf. Fla.Stats. § 909.18; State v. Superior Court, 90 Ariz. 133, 367 P.2d 6 (1961); People v. Cooper, 53 Cal.2d 755, 770, 3 Cal.Rptr. 148, 157, 349 P.2d 1964, 973 (1960); People v. Stokes, supra, at 762, 204 N.Y.Supp.2d at 835.
(3) Relevant recorded testimony of a defendant before a grand jury. The policy which favors pretrial disclosure to a defendant of his statements to government agents also supports, pretrial disclosure of his testimony before a grand jury. Courts, however, have tended to require a showing of special circumstances before ordering such disclosure. See, e.g., United States v. Johnson, 215 F.Supp. 300 (D.Md. 1963). Disclosure is required only where the statement has been recorded and hence can be transcribed.
Subdivision (b).—This subdivision authorizes the court to order the attorney for the government to permit the defendant to inspect the copy or photograph all other books, papers, documents, tangible objects, buildings or places, or copies or portions thereof, which are within the possession, custody or control of the government. Because of the necessarily broad and general terms in which the items to be discovered are described, several limitations are imposed:
(1) While specific designation is not required of the defendant, the burden is placed on him to make a showing of materiality to the preparation of his defense and that his request is reasonable. The requirement of reasonableness will permit the court to define and limit the scope of the government’s obligation to search its files while meeting the legitimate needs of the defendant. The court is also authorized to limit discovery to portions of items sought.
(2) Reports, memoranda, and other internal government documents made by government agents in connection with the investigation or prosecution of the case are exempt from discovery. Cf. Palermo v. United States, 360 U.S. 343 (1959); Ogden v. United States, 303 F.2d 724 (9th Cir. 1962).
(3) Except as provided for reports of examinations and tests in subdivision (a)(2), statements made by government witnesses or prospective government witnesses to agents of the government are also exempt from discovery except as provided by 18 U.S.C. § 3500.
Subdivision (c).—This subdivision permits the court to condition a discovery order under subdivision (a)(2) and subdivision (b) by requiring the defendant to permit the government to discover similar items which the defendant intends to produce at the trial and which are within his possession, custody or control under restrictions similar to those placed in subdivision (b) upon discovery by the defendant. While the government normally has resources adequate to secure the information necessary for trial, there are some situations in which mutual disclosure would appear necessary to prevent the defendant from obtaining an unfair advantage. For example, in cases where both prosecution and defense have employed experts to make psychiatric examinations, it seems as important for the government to study the opinions of the experts to be called by the defendant in order to prepare for trial as it does for the defendant to study those of the government’s witnesses. Or in cases (such as antitrust cases) in which the defendant is well represented and well financed, mutual disclosure so far as consistent with the privilege against self-incrimination would seem as appropriate as in civil cases. State cases have indicated that a requirement that the defendant disclose in advance of trial materials which he intends to use on his own behalf at the trial is not a violation of the privilege against self-incrimination. See Jones v. Superior Court, 58 Cal.2d 56, 22 Cal.Rptr. 879, 372 P.2d 919 (1962); People v. Lopez, 60 Cal.2d 223, 32 Cal.Rptr. 424, 384 P.2d 16 (1963); Traynor, Ground Lost and Found in Criminal Discovery. 39 N.Y.U.L.Rev. 228, 246 (1964); Comment, The Self-Incrimination Privilege: Barrier to Criminal Discovery, 51 Calif.L.Rev. 135 (1963); Note, 76 Harv.L.Rev. 828 (1963).
Subdivision (d).—This subdivision is substantially the same as the last sentence of the existing rule.
Subdivision (e).—This subdivision gives the court authority to deny, restrict or defer discovery upon a sufficient showing. Control of the abuses of discovery is necessary if it is to be expanded in the fashion proposed in subdivisions (a) and (b). Among the considerations to be taken into account by the court will be the safety of witnesses and others, a particular danger of perjury or witness intimidation, the protection of information vital to the national security, and the protection of business enterprises from economic reprisals.
For an example of a use of a protective order in state practice, see People v. Lopez, 60 Cal.2d 223, 32 Cal.Rptr. 424, 384 P.2d 16 (1963). See also Brennan, Remarks on Discovery, 33 F.R.D. 56, 65 (1963); Traynor, Ground Lost and Found in Criminal Discovery, 39 N.Y.U.L.Rev. 228, 244, 250.
In some cases it would defeat the purpose of the protective order if the government were required to make its showing in open court. The problem arises in its most extreme form where matters of national security are involved. Hence a procedure is set out where upon motion by the government the court may permit the government to make its showing, in whole or in part, in a written statement to be inspected by the court in camera. If the court grants relief based on such showing, the government’s statement is to be sealed and preserved in the records of the court to be made available to the appellate court in the event of an appeal by the defendant, Cf. 18 U.S.C. § 3500.
Subdivision (f).—This subdivision is designed to encourage promptness in making discovery motions and to give the court sufficient control to prevent unnecessary delay and court time consequent upon a multiplication of discovery motions. Normally one motion should encompass all relief sought and a subsequent motion permitted only upon a showing of cause. Where pretrial hearings are used pursuant to Rule 17.1, discovery issues may be resolved at such hearings.
Subdivision (g).—The first sentence establishes a continuing obligation on a party subject to a discovery order with respect to material discovered after initial compliance. The duty provided is to notify the other party, his attorney or the court of the existence of the material. A motion can then be made by the other party for additional discovery and, where the existence of the material is disclosed shortly before or during the trial, for any necessary continuance.
The second sentence gives wide discretion to the court in dealing with the failure of either party to comply with a discovery order. Such discretion will permit the court to consider the reasons why disclosure was not made, the extent of the prejudice, if any, to the opposing party, the feasibility of rectifying that prejudice by a continuance, and any other relevant circumstances.
Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1974 Amendment
Rule 16 is revised to give greater discovery to both the prosecution and the defense. Subdivision (a) deals with disclosure of evidence by the government. Subdivision (b) deals with disclosure of evidence by the defendant. The majority of the Advisory Committee is of the view that the two—prosecution and defense discovery—are related and that the giving of a broader right of discovery to the defense is dependent upon giving also a broader right of discovery to the prosecution.
The draft provides for a right of prosecution discovery independent of any prior request for discovery by the defendant. The Advisory Committee is of the view that this is the most desirable approach to prosecution discovery. See American Bar Association, Standards Relating to Discovery and Procedure Before Trial, pp. 7, 43–46 (Approved Draft, 1970).
The language of the rule is recast from “the court may order” or “the court shall order” to “the government shall permit” or “the defendant shall permit.” This is to make clear that discovery should be accomplished by the parties themselves, without the necessity of a court order unless there is dispute as to whether the matter is discoverable or a request for a protective order under subdivision (d)(1). The court, however, has the inherent right to enter an order under this rule.
The rule is intended to prescribe the minimum amount of discovery to which the parties are entitled. It is not intended to limit the judge’s discretion to order broader discovery in appropriate cases. For example, subdivision (a)(3) is not intended to deny a judge’s discretion to order disclosure of grand jury minutes where circumstances make it appropriate to do so.
Subdivision (a)(1)(A) amends the old rule to provide, upon request of the defendant, the government shall permit discovery if the conditions specified in subdivision (a)(1)(A) exist. Some courts have construed the current language as giving the court discretion as to whether to grant discovery of defendant’s statements. See United States v. Kaminsky, 275 F.Supp. 365 (S.D.N.Y. 1967), denying discovery because the defendant did not demonstrate that his request for discovery was warranted; United States v. Diliberto, 264 F.Supp. 181 (S.D.N.Y. 1967), holding that there must be a showing of actual need before discovery would be granted; United States v. Louis Carreau, Inc., 42 F.R.D. 408 (S.D.N.Y. 1967), holding that in the absence of a showing of good cause the government cannot be required to disclose defendant’s prior statements in advance of trial. In United States v. Louis Carreau, Inc., at p. 412, the court stated that if rule 16 meant that production of the statements was mandatory, the word “shall” would have been used instead of “may.” See also United States v. Wallace, 272 F.Supp. 838 (S.D.N.Y. 1967); United States v. Wood, 270 F.Supp. 963 (S.D.N.Y. 1967); United States v. Leighton, 265 F.Supp. 27 (S.D.N.Y. 1967); United States v. Longarzo, 43 F.R.D. 395 (S.D.N.Y. 1967); Loux v. United States, 389 F.2d 911 (9th Cir. 1968); and the discussion of discovery in Discovery in Criminal Cases, 44 F.R.D. 481 (1968). Other courts have held that even though the current rules make discovery discretionary, the defendant need not show cause when he seeks to discover his own statements. See United States v. Aadal, 280 F.Supp. 859 (S.D.N.Y. 1967); United States v. Federmann, 41 F.R.D. 339 (S.D.N.Y. 1967); and United States v. Projansky, 44 F.R.D. 550 (S.D.N.Y. 1968).
The amendment making disclosure mandatory under the circumstances prescribed in subdivision (a)(1)(A) resolves such ambiguity as may currently exist, in the direction of more liberal discovery. See C. Wright, Federal Practice and Procedure: Criminal § 253 (1969, Supp. 1971), Rezneck, The New Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, 54 Geo.L.J. 1276 (1966); Fla.Stat.Ann. § 925.05 (Supp. 1971–1972); N.J.Crim.Prac.Rule 35–11 (a) (1967). This is done in the view that broad discovery contributes to the fair and efficient administration of criminal justice by providing the defendant with enough information to make an informed decision as to plea; by minimizing the undesirable effect of surprise at the trial; and by otherwise contributing to an accurate determination of the issue of guilt or innocence. This is the ground upon which the American Bar Association Standards Relating to Discovery and Procedure Before Trial (Approved Draft, 1970) has unanimously recommended broader discovery. The United States Supreme Court has said that the pretrial disclosure of a defendant’s statements “may be the ‘better practice.’ ” Cicenia v. La Gay, 357 U.S. 504, 511, 78 S.Ct. 1297, 2 L.Ed.2d 1523 (1958). See also Leland v. Oregon, 343 U.S. 790, 72 S.Ct. 1002, 96 L.Ed. 1302 (1952); State v. Johnson, 28 N.J. 133, 145 A.2d 313 (1958).
The requirement that the statement be disclosed prior to trial, rather than waiting until the trial, also contributes to efficiency of administration. It is during the pretrial stage that the defendant usually decides whether to plead guilty. See United States v. Projansky, supra. The pretrial stage is also the time during which many objections to the admissibility of types of evidence ought to be made. Pretrial disclosure ought, therefore, to contribute both to an informed guilty plea practice and to a pretrial resolution of admissibility questions. See ABA, Standards Relating to Discovery and Procedure Before Trial § 1.2 and Commentary pp. 40–43 (Approved Draft, 1970).
The American Bar Association Standards mandate the prosecutor to make the required disclosure even though not requested to do so by the defendant. The proposed draft requires the defendant to request discovery, although obviously the attorney for the government may disclose without waiting for a request, and there are situations in which due process will require the prosecution, on its own, to disclose evidence “helpful” to the defense. Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83, 83 S.Ct. 1194, 10 L.Ed.2d 215 (1963); Giles v. Maryland, 386 U.S. 66, 87 S.Ct. 793, 17 L.Ed.2d 737 (1967).
The requirement in subdivision (a)(1)(A) is that the government produce “statements” without further discussion of what “statement” includes. There has been some recent controversy over what “statements” are subject to discovery under the current rule. See Discovery in Criminal Cases, 44 F.R.D. 481 (1968); C. Wright, Federal Practice and Procedure: Criminal § 253, pp. 505–506 (1969, Supp. 1971). The kinds of “statements” which have been held to be within the rule include “substantially verbatim and contemporaneous” statements, United States v. Elife, 43 F.R.D. 23 (S.D.N.Y. 1967); statements which reproduce the defendant’s “exact words,” United States v. Armantrout, 278 F.Supp. 517 (S.D.N.Y. 1968); a memorandum which was not verbatim but included the substance of the defendant’s testimony, United States v. Scharf, 267 F.Supp. 19 (S.D.N.Y. 1967); Summaries of the defendant’s statements, United States v. Morrison, 43 F.R.D. 516 (N.D.Ill. 1967); and statements discovered by means of electronic surveillance, United States v. Black, 282 F.Supp. 35 (D.D.C. 1968). The court in United States v. Iovinelli, 276 F.Supp. 629, 631 (N.D.Ill. 1967), declared that “statements” as used in old rule 16 is not restricted to the “substantially verbatim recital of an oral statement” or to statements which are a “recital of past occurrences.”
The Jencks Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3500, defines “statements” of government witnesses discoverable for purposes of cross-examination as: (1) a “written statement” signed or otherwise approved by a witness, (2) “a stenographic, mechanical, electrical, or other recording, or a transcription thereof, which is a substantially verbatim recital of an oral statement made by said witness to an agent of the government and recorded contemporaneously with the making of such oral statement.” 18 U.S.C. § 3500 (e). The language of the Jencks Act has most often led to a restrictive definition of “statements,” confining “statements” to the defendant’s “own words.” See Hanks v. United States, 388 F.2d 171 (10th Cir. 1968), and Augenblick v. United States, 377 F.2d 586, 180 Ct.Cl. 131 (1967).
The American Bar Association’s Standards Relating to Discovery and Procedure Before Trial (Approved Draft, 1970) do not attempt to define “statements” because of a disagreement among members of the committee as to what the definition should be. The majority rejected the restrictive definition of “statements” contained in the Jencks Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3500 (e), in the view that the defendant ought to be able to see his statement in whatever form it may have been preserved in fairness to the defendant and to discourage the practice, where it exists, of destroying original notes, after transforming them into secondary transcriptions, in order to avoid cross-examination based upon the original notes. See Campbell v. United States, 373 U.S. 487, 83 S.Ct. 1356, 10 L.Ed.2d 501 (1963). The minority favored a restrictive definition of “statements” in the view that the use of other than “verbatim” statements would subject witnesses to unfair cross-examination. See American Bar Association’s Standards Relating to Discovery and Procedure Before Trial pp. 61–64 (Approved Draft, 1970). The draft of subdivision (a)(1)(A) leaves the matter of the meaning of the term unresolved and thus left for development on a case-by-case basis.
Subdivision (a)(1)(A) also provides for mandatory disclosure of a summary of any oral statement made by defendant to a government agent which the attorney for the government intends to use in evidence. The reasons for permitting the defendant to discover his own statements seem obviously to apply to the substance of any oral statement which the government intends to use in evidence at the trial. See American Bar Association Standards Relating to Discovery and Procedure Before Trial § 2.1(a)(ii) (Approved Draft, 1970). Certainly disclosure will facilitate the raising of objections to admissibility prior to trial. There have been several conflicting decisions under the current rules as to whether the government must disclose the substance of oral statements of the defendant which it has in its possession. Cf. United States v. Baker, 262 F.Supp. 657 (D.C.D.C. 1966); United States v. Curry, 278 F.Supp. 508 (N.D.Ill. 1967); United States v. Morrison, 43 F.R.D. 516 (ND.Ill. 1967); United States v. Reid, 43 F.R.D. 520 (ND.Ill. 1967); United States v. Armantrout, 278 F.Supp. 517 (S.D.N.Y. 1968); and United States v. Elife, 43 F.R.D. 23 (S.D.N.Y. 1967). There is, however, considerable support for the policy of disclosing the substance of the defendant’s oral statement. Many courts have indicated that this is a “better practice” than denying such disclosure. E.g., United States v. Curry, supra; Loux v. United States, 389 F.2d 911 (9th Cir. 1968); and United States v. Baker, supra.
Subdivision (a)(1)(A) also provides for mandatory disclosure of any “recorded testimony” which defendant gives before a grand jury if the testimony “relates to the offense charged.” The present rule is discretionary and is applicable only to those of defendant’s statements which are “relevant.”
The traditional rationale behind grand jury secrecy—protection of witnesses—does not apply when the accused seeks discovery of his own testimony. Cf. Dennis v. United States, 384 U.S. 855, 86 S.Ct. 1840, 16 L.Ed.2d 973 (1966); and Allen v. United States, 129 U.S.App.D.C. 61, 390 F.2d 476 (1968). In interpreting the rule many judges have granted defendant discovery without a showing of need or relevance. United States v. Gleason, 259 F.Supp. 282 (S.D.N.Y. 1966); United States v. Longarzo, 43 F.R.D. 395 (S.D.N.Y. 1967); and United States v. United Concrete Pipe Corp., 41 F.R.D. 538 (N.D.Tex. 1966). Making disclosure mandatory without a showing of relevance conforms to the recommendation of the American Bar Association Standards Relating to Discovery and Procedure Before Trial § 2.1(a)(iii) and Commentary pp. 64–66 (Approved Draft, 1970). Also see Note, Discovery by a Criminal Defendant of His Own Grand-Jury Testimony, 68 Columbia L.Rev. 311 (1968).
In a situation involving a corporate defendant, statements made by present and former officers and employees relating to their employment have been held discoverable as statements of the defendant. United States v. Hughes, 413 F.2d 1244 (5th Cir. 1969). The rule makes clear that such statements are discoverable if the officer or employee was “able legally to bind the defendant in respect to the activities involved in the charges.”
Subdivision (a)(1)(B) allows discovery of the defendant’s prior criminal record. A defendant may be uncertain of the precise nature of his prior record and it seems therefore in the interest of efficient and fair administration to make it possible to resolve prior to trial any disputes as to the correctness of the relevant criminal record of the defendant.
Subdivision (a)(1)(C) gives a right of discovery of certain tangible objects under the specified circumstances. Courts have construed the old rule as making disclosure discretionary with the judge. Cf. United States v. Kaminsky, 275 F.Supp. 365 (S.D.N.Y. 1967); Gevinson v. United States, 358 F.2d 761 (5th Cir. 1966), cert. denied, 385 U.S. 823, 87 S.Ct. 51, 17 L.Ed.2d 60 (1966); and United States v. Tanner, 279 F.Supp. 457 (N.D.Ill. 1967). The old rule requires a “showing of materiality to the preparation of his defense and that the request is reasonable.” The new rule requires disclosure if any one of three situations exists: (a) the defendant shows that disclosure of the document or tangible object is material to the defense, (b) the government intends to use the document or tangible object in its presentation of its case in chief, or (c) the document or tangible object was obtained from or belongs to the defendant.
Disclosure of documents and tangible objects which are “material” to the preparation of the defense may be required under the rule of Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83, 83 S.Ct. 1194, 10 L.Ed.2d 215 (1963), without an additional showing that the request is “reasonable.” In Brady the court held that “due process” requires that the prosecution disclose evidence favorable to the accused. Although the Advisory Committee decided not to codify the Brady Rule, the requirement that the government disclose documents and tangible objects “material to the preparation of his defense” underscores the importance of disclosure of evidence favorable to the defendant.
Limiting the rule to situations in which the defendant can show that the evidence is material seems unwise. It may be difficult for a defendant to make this showing if he does not know what the evidence is. For this reason subdivision (a)(1)(C) also contains language to compel disclosure if the government intends to use the property as evidence at the trial or if the property was obtained from or belongs to the defendant. See ABA Standards Relating to Discovery and Procedure Before Trial § 2.1(a)(v) and Commentary pp. 68–69 (Approved Draft, 1970). This is probably the result under old rule 16 since the fact that the government intends to use the physical evidence at the trial is probably sufficient proof of “materiality.” C. Wright, Federal Practice and Procedure: Criminal § 254 especially n. 70 at p. 513 (1969, Supp. 1971). But it seems desirable to make this explicit in the rule itself.
Requiring disclosure of documents and tangible objects which “were obtained from or belong to the defendant” probably is also making explicit in the rule what would otherwise be the interpretation of “materiality.” See C. Wright, Federal Practice and Procedure: Criminal § 254 at p. 510 especially n. 58 (1969, Supp. 1971).
Subdivision (a)(1)(C) is also amended to add the word “photographs” to the objects previously listed. See ABA Standards Relating to Discovery and Procedure Before Trial § 2.1(a)(v) (Approved Draft, 1970).
Subdivision (a)(1)(D) makes disclosure of the reports of examinations and tests mandatory. This is the recommendation of the ABA Standards Relating to Discovery and Procedure Before Trial § 2.1(a)(iv) and Commentary pp. 66–68 (Approved Draft, 1970). The obligation of disclosure applies only to scientific tests or experiments “made in connection with the particular case.” So limited, mandatory disclosure seems justified because: (1) it is difficult to test expert testimony at trial without advance notice and preparation; (2) it is not likely that such evidence will be distorted or misused if disclosed prior to trial; and (3) to the extent that a test may be favorable to the defense, its disclosure is mandated under the rule of Brady v. Maryland, supra.
Subdivision (a)(1)(E) is new. It provides for discovery of the names of witnesses to be called by the government and of the prior criminal record of these witnesses. Many states have statutes or rules which require that the accused be notified prior to trial of the witnesses to be called against him. See, e.g., Alaska R.Crim.Proc. 7(c); Ariz.R.Crim.Proc. 153, 17 A.R.S. (1956); Ark.Stat.Ann. § 43–1001 (1947); Cal.Pen.Code § 995n (West 1957); Colo.Rev.Stat.Ann. §§ 39–3–6, 39–4–2 (1963); Fla.Stat.Ann. § 906.29 (1944); Idaho Code Ann. § 19–1404 (1948); Ill.Rev.Stat. ch. 38, § 114–9 (1970); Ind.Ann.Stat. § 9–903 (1856), IC 1971, 35–1–16–3; Iowa Code Ann. § 772.3 (1950); Kan.Stat.Ann. § 62–931 (1964); Ky.R.Crim. Proc. 6.08 (1962); Mich.Stat.Ann. § 28.980, M.C.L.A. § 767.40 (Supp.1971); Minn.Stat.Ann. § 628.08 (1947); Mo.Ann.Stat. § 545.070 (1953); Mont.Rev. Codes Ann. § 95–1503 (Supp. 1969); Neb.Rev.Stat. § 29–1602 (1964); Nev.Rev.Stat. § 173.045 (1967); Okl.Stat. tet. 22, § 384 (1951); Ore.Rev.Stat. § 132.580 (1969); Tenn. Code Ann. § 40–1708 (1955); Utah Code Ann. § 77–20–3 (1953). For examples of the ways in which these requirements are implemented, see State v. Mitchell, 181 Kan. 193, 310 P.2d 1063 (1957); State v. Parr, 129 Mont. 175, 283 P.2d 1086 (1955); Phillips v. State, 157 Neb. 419, 59 N.W. 598 (1953).
Witnesses’ prior statements must be made available to defense counsel after the witness testifies on direct examination for possible impeachment purposes during trial: 18 U.S.C. § 3500.
The American Bar Association’s Standards Relating to Discovery and Procedure Before Trial § 2.1(a)(i) (Approved Draft, 1970) require disclosure of both the names and the statements of prosecution witnesses. Subdivision (a)(1)(E) requires only disclosure, prior to trial, of names, addresses, and prior criminal record. It does not require disclosure of the witnesses’ statements although the rule does not preclude the parties from agreeing to disclose statements prior to trial. This is done, for example, in courts using the so-called “omnibus hearing.”
Disclosure of the prior criminal record of witnesses places the defense in the same position as the government, which normally has knowledge of the defendant’s record and the record of anticipated defense witnesses. In addition, the defendant often lacks means of procuring this information on his own. See American Bar Association Standards Relating to Discovery and Procedure Before Trial § 2.1(a)(vi) (Approved Draft, 1970).
A principal argument against disclosure of the identity of witnesses prior to trial has been the danger to the witness, his being subjected either to physical harm or to threats designed to make the witness unavailable or to influence him to change his testimony. Discovery in Criminal cases, 44 F.R.D. 481, 499–500 (1968); Ratnoff, The New Criminal Deposition Statute in Ohio—Help or Hindrance to Justice?, 19 Case Western Reserve L.Rev. 279, 284 (1968). See, e.g., United States v. Estep, 151 F.Supp. 668, 672–673 (N.D. Tex. 1957):
Ninety percent of the convictions had in the trial court for sale and dissemination of narcotic drugs are linked to the work and the evidence obtained by an informer. If that informer is not to have his life protected there won’t be many informers hereafter.
See also the dissenting opinion of Mr. Justice Clark in Roviaro v. United States, 353 U.S. 53, 66–67, 77 S.Ct. 623, 1 L.Ed.2d 639 (1957). Threats of market retaliation against witnesses in criminal antitrust cases are another illustration. Bergen Drug Co. v. Parke, Davis & Company, 307 F.2d 725 (3d Cir. 1962); and House of Materials, Inc. v. Simplicity Pattern Co., 298 F.2d 867 (2d Cir. 1962). The government has two alternatives when it believes disclosure will create an undue risk of harm to the witness: It can ask for a protective order under subdivision (d)(1). See ABA Standards Relating to Discovery and Procedure Before Trial § 2.5(b) (Approved Draft, 1970). It can also move the court to allow the perpetuation of a particular witness’s testimony for use at trial if the witness is unavailable or later changes his testimony. The purpose of the latter alternative is to make pretrial disclosure possible and at the same time to minimize any inducement to use improper means to force the witness either to not show up or to change his testimony before a jury. See rule 15.
Subdivision (a)(2) is substantially unchanged. It limits the discovery otherwise allowed by providing that the government need not disclose “reports, memoranda, or other internal government documents made by the attorney for the government or other government agents in connection with the investigation or prosecution of the case” or “statements made by government witnesses or prospective government witnesses.” The only proposed change is that the “reports, memoranda, or other internal government documents made by the attorney for the government” are included to make clear that the work product of the government attorney is protected. See C. Wright, Federal Practice and Procedure: Criminal § 254 n. 92 (1969, Supp. 1971); United States v. Rothman, 179 F.Supp. 935 (W.D.Pa. 1959); Note, “Work Product” in Criminal Discovery, 1966 Wash.U.L.Q. 321; American Bar Association, Standards Relating to Discovery and Procedure Before Trial § 2.6(a) (Approved Draft, 1970); cf. Hickman v. Taylor, 329 U.S. 495, 67 S.Ct. 385, 91 L.Ed. 451 (1947). Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83, 83 S.Ct. 1194, 10 L.Ed2d 215 (1963), requires the disclosure of evidence favorable to the defendant. This is, of course, not changed by this rule.
Subdivision (a)(3) is included to make clear that recorded proceedings of a grand jury are explicitly dealt with in rule 6 and subdivision (a)(1)(A) of rule 16 and thus are not covered by other provisions such as subdivision (a)(1)(C) which deals generally with discovery of documents in the possession, custody, or control of the government.
Subdivision (a)(4) is designed to insure that the government will not be penalized if it makes a full disclosure of all potential witnesses and then decides not to call one or more of the witnesses listed. This is not, however, intended to abrogate the defendant’s right to comment generally upon the government’s failure to call witnesses in an appropriate case.
Subdivision (b) deals with the government’s right to discovery of defense evidence or, put in other terms, with the extent to which a defendant is required to disclose its evidence to the prosecution prior to trial. Subdivision (b) replaces old subdivision (c).
Subdivision (b) enlarges the right of government discovery in several ways: (1) it gives the government the right to discovery of lists of defense witnesses as well as physical evidence and the results of examinations and tests; (2) it requires disclosure if the defendant has the evidence under his control and intends to use it at trial in his case in chief, without the additional burden, required by the old rule, of having to show, in behalf of the government, that the evidence is material and the request reasonable; and (3) it gives the government the right to discovery without conditioning that right upon the existence of a prior request for discovery by the defendant.
Although the government normally has resources adequate to secure much of the evidence for trial, there are situations in which pretrial disclosure of evidence to the government is in the interest of effective and fair criminal justice administration. For example, the experimental “omnibus hearing” procedure (see discussion in Advisory Committee Note to rule 12) is based upon an assumption that the defendant, as well as the government, will be willing to disclose evidence prior to trial.
Having reached the conclusion that it is desirable to require broader disclosure by the defendant under certain circumstances, the Advisory Committee has taken the view that it is preferable to give the right of discovery to the government independently of a prior request for discovery by the defendant. This is the recommendation of the American Bar Association Standards Relating to Discovery and Procedure Before Trial, Commentary, pp. 43–46 (Approved Draft, 1970). It is sometimes asserted that making the government’s right to discovery conditional will minimize the risk that government discovery will be viewed as an infringement of the defendant’s constitutional rights. See discussion in C. Wright, Federal Practice and Procedure: Criminal § 256 (1969, Supp.1971); Moore, Criminal Discovery, 19 Hastings L.J. 865 (1968); Wilder, Prosecution Discovery and the Privilege Against Self-Incrimination, 6 Am.Cr.L.Q. 3 (1967). There are assertions that prosecution discovery, even if conditioned upon the defendants being granted discovery, is a violation of the privilege. See statements of Mr. Justice Black and Mr. Justice Douglas, 39 F.R.D. 69, 272, 277–278 19 (1966); C. Wright, Federal Practice and Procedure: Criminal § 256 (1969, Supp. 1971). Several states require defense disclosure of an intended defense of alibi and, in some cases, a list of witnesses in support of an alibi defense, without making the requirement conditional upon prior discovery being given to the defense. E.g., Ariz.R.Crim.P. 162(B), 17 A.R.S. (1956); Ind.Ann.Stat. § 9–1631 to 9–1633 (1956), IC 1971, 35–5–1–1 to 35–5–1–3; Mich.Comp. Laws Ann. §§ 768.20, 768.21 (1968); N.Y. CPL § 250.20 (McKinney’s Consol.Laws, c. 11–A, 1971); and Ohio Rev.Code Ann. § 2945.58 (1954). State courts have refused to hold these statutes violative of the privilege against self-incrimination. See State v. Thayer, 124 Ohio St. 1, 176 N.E. 656 (1931), and People v. Rakiec, 260 App.Div. 452, 23 N.Y.S.2d 607, aff’d, 289 N.Y. 306, 45 N.E.2d 812 (1942). See also rule 12.1 and Advisory Committee Note thereto.
Some state courts have held that a defendant may be required to disclose, in advance of trial, evidence which he intends to use on his own behalf at trial without violating the privilege against self-incrimination. See Jones v. Superior Court of Nevada County, 58 Cal.2d 56, 22 Cal.Rptr. 879, 372 P.2d 919 (1962); People v. Lopez, 60 Cal.2d 223, 32 Cal.Rptr. 424, 384 P.2d 16 (1963); Comment, The Self-Incrimination Privilege: Barrier to Criminal Discovery?, 51 Calif.L.Rev. 135 (1963); Note, 76 Harv.L.Rev. 838 (1963). The courts in Jones v. Superior Court of Nevada County, supra, suggests that if mandatory disclosure applies only to those items which the accused intends to introduce in evidence at trial, neither the incriminatory nor the involuntary aspects of the privilege against self-incrimination are present.
On balance the Advisory Committee is of the view that an independent right of discovery for both the defendant and the government is likely to contribute to both effective and fair administration. See Louisell, Criminal Discovery and Self-Incrimination: Roger Traynor Confronts the Dilemma, 53 Calif.L.Rev. 89 (1965), for an analysis of the difficulty of weighing the value of broad discovery against the value which inheres in not requiring the defendant to disclose anything which might work to his disadvantage.
Subdivision (b)(1)(A) provides that the defendant shall disclose any documents and tangible objects which he has in his possession, custody, or control and which he intends to introduce in evidence in his case in chief.
Subdivision (b)(1)(B) provides that the defendant shall disclose the results of physical or mental examinations and scientific tests or experiments if (a) they were made in connection with a particular case; (b) the defendant has them under his control; and (c) he intends to offer them in evidence in his case in chief or which were prepared by a defense witness and the results or reports relate to the witness’s testimony. In cases where both prosecution and defense have employed experts to conduct tests such as psychiatric examinations, it seems as important for the government to be able to study the results reached by defense experts which are to be called by the defendant as it does for the defendant to study those of government experts. See Schultz, Criminal Discovery by the Prosecution: Frontier Developments and Some Proposals for the Future, 22 N.Y.U.Intra.L.Rev. 268 (1967); American Bar Association, Standards Relating to Discovery and Procedure Before Trial § 3.2 (Supp., Approved Draft, 1970).
Subdivision (b)(1)(C) provides for discovery of a list of witnesses the defendant intends to call in his case in chief. State cases have indicated that disclosure of a list of defense witnesses does not violate the defendant’s privilege against self-incrimination. See Jones v. Superior Court of Nevada County, supra, and People v. Lopez, supra. The defendant has the same option as does the government if it is believed that disclosure of the identity of a witness may subject that witness to harm or a threat of harm. The defendant can ask for a protective order under subdivision (d)(1) or can take a deposition in accordance with the terms of rule 15.
Subdivision (b)(2) is unchanged, appearing as the last sentence of subdivision (c) of old rule 16.
Subdivision (b)(3) provides that the defendant’s failure to introduce evidence or call witnesses shall not be admissible in evidence against him. In states which require pretrial disclosure of witnesses’ identity, the prosecution is not allowed to comment upon the defendant’s failure to call a listed witness. See O’Connor v. State, 31 Wis.2d 684, 143 N.W.2d 489 (1966); People v. Mancini, 6 N.Y.2d 853, 188 N.Y.S.2d 559, 160 N.E.2d 91 (1959); and State v. Cocco, 73 Ohio App. 182, 55 N.E.2d 430 (1943). This is not, however, intended to abrogate the government’s right to comment generally upon the defendant’s failure to call witnesses in an appropriate case, other than the defendant’s failure to testify.
Subdivision (d)(1) deals with the protective order. Although the rule does not attempt to indicate when a protective order should be entered, it is obvious that one would be appropriate where there is reason to believe that a witness would be subject to physical or economic harm if his identity is revealed. See Will v. United States, 389 U.S. 90, 88 S.Ct. 269, 19 L.Ed.2d 305 (1967). The language “by the judge alone” is not meant to be inconsistent with Alderman v. United States, 394 U.S. 165, 89 S.Ct. 961, 22 L.Ed.2d 176 (1969). In Alderman the court points out that there may be appropriate occasions for the trial judge to decide questions relating to pretrial disclosure. See Alderman v. United States, 394 U.S. at 182 n. 14, 89 S.Ct. 961.
Old subdivision (f) of rule 16 dealing with time of motions is dropped because rule 12 (c) provides the judge with authority to set the time for the making of pretrial motions including requests for discovery. Rule 12 also prescribes the consequences which follow from a failure to make a pretrial motion at the time fixed by the court. See rule 12 (f).
Notes of Committee on the Judiciary, House Report No. 94–247; 1975 Amendment
A. Amendments Proposed by the Supreme Court. Rule 16 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure regulates discovery by the defendant of evidence in possession of the prosecution, and discovery by the prosecution of evidence in possession of the defendant. The present rule permits the defendant to move the court to discover certain material. The prosecutor’s discovery is limited and is reciprocal—that is, if the defendant is granted discovery of certain items, then the prosecution may move for discovery of similar items under the defendant’s control.
As proposed to be amended, the rule provides that the parties themselves will accomplish discovery—no motion need be filed and no court order is necessary. The court will intervene only to resolve a dispute as to whether something is discoverable or to issue a protective order.
The proposed rule enlarges the scope of the defendant’s discovery to include a copy of his prior criminal record and a list of the names and addresses, plus record of prior felony convictions, of all witnesses the prosecution intends to call during its case-in-chief. It also permits the defendant to discover the substance of any oral statement of his which the prosecution intends to offer at trial, if the statement was given in response to interrogation by any person known by defendant to be a government agent.
Proposed subdivision (a)(2) provides that Rule 16 does not authorize the defendant to discover “reports, memoranda, or other internal government documents made by the attorney for the government or other government agents in connection with the investigation or prosecution of the case. . . .”
The proposed rule also enlarges the scope of the government’s discovery of materials in the custody of the defendant. The government is entitled to a list of the names and addresses of the witnesses the defendant intends to call during his case-in-chief. Proposed subdivision (b)(2) protects the defendant from having to disclose “reports, memoranda, or other internal defense documents . . . made in connection with the investigation or defense of the case. . . .”
Subdivision (d)(1) of the proposed rule permits the court to deny, restrict, or defer discovery by either party, or to make such other order as is appropriate. Upon request, a party may make a showing that such an order is necessary. This showing shall be made to the judge alone if the party so requests. If the court enters an order after such a showing, it must seal the record of the showing and preserve it in the event there is an appeal.
B. Committee Action. The Committee agrees that the parties should, to the maximum possible extent, accomplish discovery themselves. The court should become involved only when it is necessary to resolve a dispute or to issue an order pursuant to subdivision (d).
Perhaps the most controversial amendments to this rule were those dealing with witness lists. Under present law, the government must turn over a witness list only in capital cases. [Section 3432 of title 18 of the United States Code provides: A person charged with treason or other capital offense shall at least three entire days before commencement of trial be furnished with a copy of the indictment and a list of the veniremen, and of the witnesses to be produced on the trial for proving the indictment, stating the place of abode of each venireman and witness.] The defendant never needs to turn over a list of his witnesses. The proposed rule requires both the government and the defendant to turn over witness lists in every case, capital or noncapital. Moreover, the lists must be furnished to the adversary party upon that party’s request.
The proposed rule was sharply criticized by both prosecutors and defenders. The prosecutors feared that pretrial disclosure of prosecution witnesses would result in harm to witnesses. The defenders argued that a defendant cannot constitutionally be compelled to disclose his witnesses.
The Committee believes that it is desirable to promote greater pretrial discovery. As stated in the Advisory Committee Note,broader discovery by both the defense and the prosecution will contribute to the fair and efficient administration of criminal justice by aiding in informed plea negotiations, by minimizing the undesirable effect of surprise at trial, and by otherwise contributing to an accurate determination of the issue of guilt or innocence. . . .
The Committee, therefore, endorses the principle that witness lists are discoverable. However, the Committee has attempted to strike a balance between the narrow provisions of existing law and the broad provisions of the proposed rule.
The Committee rule makes the procedures defendant-triggered. If the defendant asks for and receives a list of prosecution witnesses, then the prosecution may request a list of defense witnesses. The witness lists need not be turned over until 3 days before trial. The court can modify the terms of discovery upon a sufficient showing. Thus, the court can require disclosure of the witness lists earlier than 3 days before trial, or can permit a party not to disclose the identity of a witness before trial.
The Committee provision promotes broader discovery and its attendant values—informed disposition of cases without trial, minimizing the undesirable effect of surprise, and helping insure that the issue of guilt or innocence is accurately determined. At the same time, it avoids the problems suggested by both the prosecutors and the defenders.
The major argument advanced by prosecutors is the risk of danger to their witnesses if their identities are disclosed prior to trial. The Committee recognizes that there may be a risk but believes that the risk is not as great as some fear that it is. Numerous states require the prosecutor to provide the defendant with a list of prosecution witnesses prior to trial. [These States include Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, and Utah. See Advisory Committee Note, House Document 93–292, at 60.] The evidence before the Committee indicates that these states have not experienced unusual problems of witness intimidation. [See the comments of the Standing Committee on Criminal Law and Procedure of the State Bar of California in Hearings II, at 302.]
Some federal jurisdictions have adopted an omnibus pretrial discovery procedure that calls upon the prosecutor to give the defendant its witness lists. One such jurisdiction is the Southern District of California. The evidence before the Committee indicates that there has been no unusual problems with witness intimidation in that district. Charles Sevilla, Chief Trial Attorney for the Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc., which operates in the Southern District of California, testified as follows:
The Government in one of its statements to this committee indicated that providing the defense with witness lists will cause coerced witness perjury. This does not happen. We receive Government witness lists as a matter of course in the Southern District, and it’s a rare occasion when there is any overture by a defense witness or by a defendant to a Government witness. It simply doesn’t happen except on the rarest of occasion. When the Government has that fear it can resort to the protective order. [Hearings II, at 42.]
Mr. Sevilla’s observations are corroborated by the views of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California:
Concerning the modifications to Rule 16, we have followed these procedures informally in this district for a number of years. We were one of the districts selected for the pilot projects of the Omnibus Hearing in 1967 or 1968. We have found that the courts in our district will not require us to disclose names of proposed witnesses when in our judgment to do so would not be advisable. Otherwise we routinely provide defense counsel with full discovery, including names and addresses of witnesses. We have not had any untoward results by following this program, having in mind that the courts will, and have, excused us from discovery where the circumstances warrant. [Hearings I, at 109.]
Much of the prosecutorial criticism of requiring the prosecution to give a list of its witnesses to the defendant reflects an unwillingness to trust judges to exercise sound judgment in the public interest. Prosecutors have stated that they frequently will open their files to defendants in order to induce pleas. [See testimony of Richard L. Thornburgh, United States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, in Hearings I, at 150.]
Prosecutors are willing to determine on their own when they can do this without jeopardizing the safety of witnesses. There is no reason why a judicial officer cannot exercise the same discretion in the public interest.
The Committee is convinced that in the usual case there is no serious risk of danger to prosecution witnesses from pretrial disclosure of their identities. In exceptional instances, there may be a risk of danger. The Committee rule, however, is capable of dealing with those exceptional instances while still providing for disclosure of witnesses in the usual case.
The Committee recognizes the force of the constitutional arguments advanced by defenders. Requiring a defendant, upon request, to give to the prosecution material which may be incriminating, certainly raises very serious constitutional problems. The Committee deals with these problems by having the defendant trigger the discovery procedures. Since the defendant has no constitutional right to discover any of the prosecution’s evidence (unless it is exculpatory within the meaning of Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963)), it is permissible to condition his access to nonexculpatory evidence upon his turning over a list of defense witnesses. Rule 16 currently operates in this manner.
The Committee also changed subdivisions (a)(2) and (b)(2), which set forth “work product” exceptions to the general discovery requirements. The subsections proposed by the Supreme Court are cast in terms of the type of document involved (e. g., report), rather than in terms of the content (e. g., legal theory). The Committee recast these provisions by adopting language from Rule 26(b)(3) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
The Committee notes that subdivision (a)(1)(C) permits the defendant to discover certain items that “were obtained from or belong to the defendant.” The Committee believes that, as indicated in the Advisory Committee Note [House Document 93–292, at 59], items that “were obtained from or belong to the defendant” are items that are material to the preparation of his defense.
The Committee added language to subdivision (a)(1)(B) to conform it to provisions in subdivision (a)(1)(A). The rule as changed by the Committee requires the prosecutor to give the defendant such copy of the defendant’s prior criminal record as is within the prosecutor’s “possession, custody, or control, the existence of which is known, or by the exercise of due diligence may become known” to the prosecutor. The Committee also made a similar conforming change in subdivision (a)(1)(E), dealing with the criminal records of government witnesses. The prosecutor can ordinarily discharge his obligation under these two subdivisions, (a)(1)(B) and (E), by obtaining a copy of the F.B.I. “rap sheet.”
The Committee made an additional change in subdivision (a)(1)(E). The proposed rule required the prosecutor to provide the defendant with a record of the felony convictions of government witnesses. The major purpose for letting the defendant discover information about the record of government witnesses, is to provide him with information concerning the credibility of those witnesses. Rule 609(a) of the Federal Rules of Evidence permits a party to attack the credibility of a witness with convictions other than just felony convictions. The Committee, therefore, changed subdivision (a)(1)(E) to require the prosecutor to turn over a record of all criminal convictions, not just felony convictions.
The Committee changed subdivision (d)(1), which deals with protective orders. Proposed (d)(1) required the court to conduct an ex parte proceeding whenever a party so requested. The Committee changed the mandatory language to permissive language. A Court may, not must, conduct an ex parte proceeding if a party so requests. Thus, if a party requests a protective or modifying order and asks to make its showing ex parte, the court has two separate determinations to make. First, it must determine whether an ex parte proceeding is appropriate, bearing in mind that ex parte proceedings are disfavored and not to be encouraged. [An ex parte proceeding would seem to be appropriate if any adversary proceeding would defeat the purpose of the protective or modifying order. For example, the identity of a witness would be disclosed and the purpose of the protective order is to conceal that witness’ identity.] Second, it must determine whether a protective or modifying order shall issue.
Conference Committee Notes, House Report No. 94–414; 1975 Amendment
Rule 16 deals with pretrial discovery by the defendant and the government. The House and Senate versions of the bill differ on Rule 16 in several respects.
A. Reciprocal vs. Independent Discovery for the Government.—The House version of the bill provides that the government’s discovery is reciprocal. If the defendant requires and receives certain items from the government, then the government is entitled to get similar items from the defendant. The Senate version of the bill gives the government an independent right to discover material in the possession of the defendant.
The Conference adopts the House provisions.
B. Rule 16 (a)(1)(A).—The House version permits an organization to discover relevant recorded grand jury testimony of any witness who was, at the time of the acts charged or of the grand jury proceedings, so situated as an officer or employee as to have been able legally to bind it in respect to the activities involved in the charges. The Senate version limits discovery of this material to testimony of a witness who was, at the time of the grand jury proceeding, so situated as an officer or employee as to have been legally to bind the defendant in respect to the activities involved in the charges.
The Conferees share a concern that during investigations, ex-employees and ex-officers of potential corporate defendants are a critical source of information regarding activities of their former corporate employers. It is not unusual that, at the time of their testimony or interview, these persons may have interests which are substantially adverse to or divergent from the putative corporate defendant. It is also not unusual that such individuals, though no longer sharing a community of interest with the corporation, may nevertheless be subject to pressure from their former employers. Such pressure may derive from the fact that the ex-employees or ex-officers have remained in the same industry or related industry, are employed by competitors, suppliers, or customers of their former employers, or have pension or other deferred compensation arrangements with former employers.
The Conferees also recognize that considerations of fairness require that a defendant corporation or other legal entity be entitled to the grand jury testimony of a former officer or employee if that person was personally involved in the conduct constituting the offense and was able legally to bind the defendant in respect to the conduct in which he was involved.
The Conferees decided that, on balance, a defendant organization should not be entitled to the relevant grand jury testimony of a former officer or employee in every instance. However, a defendant organization should be entitled to it if the former officer or employee was personally involved in the alleged conduct constituting the offense and was so situated as to have been able legally to bind the defendant in respect to the alleged conduct. The Conferees note that, even in those situations where the rule provides for disclosure of the testimony, the Government may, upon a sufficient showing, obtain a protective or modifying order pursuant to Rule 16 (d)(1).
The Conference adopts a provision that permits a defendant organization to discover relevant grant jury testimony of a witness who (1) was, at the time of his testimony, so situated as an officer or employee as to have been able legally to bind the defendant in respect to conduct constituting the offense, or (2) was, at the time of the offense, personally involved in the alleged conduct constituting the offense and so situated as an officer or employee as to have been able legally to bind the defendant in respect to that alleged conduct in which he was involved.
C. Rules 16 (a)(1)(E) and (b)(1)(C) (witness lists).—The House version of the bill provides that each party, the government and the defendant, may discover the names and addresses of the other party’s witnesses 3 days before trial. The Senate version of the bill eliminates these provisions, thereby making the names and addresses of a party’s witnesses nondiscoverable. The Senate version also makes a conforming change in Rule 16 (d)(1). The Conference adopts the Senate version.
A majority of the Conferees believe it is not in the interest of the effective administration of criminal justice to require that the government or the defendant be forced to reveal the names and addresses of its witnesses before trial. Discouragement of witnesses and improper contact directed at influencing their testimony, were deemed paramount concerns in the formulation of this policy.
D. Rules 16 (a)(2) and (b)(2).—Rules 16 (a)(2) and (b)(2) define certain types of materials (“work product”) not to be discoverable. The House version defines work product to be “the mental impressions, conclusions, opinions, or legal theories of the attorney for the government or other government agents.” This is parallel to the definition in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The Senate version returns to the Supreme Court’s language and defines work product to be “reports, memoranda, or other internal government documents.” This is the language of the present rule.
The Conference adopts the Senate provision.
The Conferees note that a party may not avoid a legitimate discovery request merely because something is labelled “report”, “memorandum”, or “internal document”. For example if a document qualifies as a statement of the defendant within the meaning of the Rule 16 (a)(1)(A), then the labelling of that document as “report”, “memorandum”, or “internal government document” will not shield that statement from discovery. Likewise, if the results of an experiment qualify as the results of a scientific test within the meaning of Rule 16 (b)(1)(B), then the results of that experiment are not shielded from discovery even if they are labelled “report”, “memorandum”, or “internal defense document”.
Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1983 Amendment
Note to Subdivision (a)(3). The added language is made necessary by the addition of Rule 26.2 and new subdivision (i) of Rule 12, which contemplate the production of statements, including those made to a grand jury, under specified circumstances.
Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1987 Amendment
The amendments are technical. No substantive change is intended.
Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1991 Amendment
The amendment to Rule 16 (a)(1)(A) expands slightly government disclosure to the defense of statements made by the defendant. The rule now requires the prosecution, upon request, to disclose any written record which contains reference to a relevant oral statement by the defendant which was in response to interrogation, without regard to whether the prosecution intends to use the statement at trial. The change recognizes that the defendant has some proprietary interest in statements made during interrogation regardless of the prosecution’s intent to make any use of the statements.
The written record need not be a transcription or summary of the defendant’s statement but must only be some written reference which would provide some means for the prosecution and defense to identify the statement. Otherwise, the prosecution would have the difficult task of locating and disclosing the myriad oral statements made by a defendant, even if it had no intention of using the statements at trial. In a lengthy and complicated investigation with multiple interrogations by different government agents, that task could become unduly burdensome.
The existing requirement to disclose oral statements which the prosecution intends to introduce at trial has also been changed slightly. Under the amendment, the prosecution must also disclose any relevant oral statement which it intends to use at trial, without regard to whether it intends to introduce the statement. Thus, an oral statement by the defendant which would only be used for impeachment purposes would be covered by the rule.
The introductory language to the rule has been modified to clarify that without regard to whether the defendant’s statement is oral or written, it must at a minimum be disclosed. Although the rule does not specify the means for disclosing the defendant’s statements, if they are in written or recorded form, the defendant is entitled to inspect, copy, or photograph them.
Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1993 Amendment
New subdivisions (a)(1)(E) and (b)(1)(C) expand federal criminal discovery by requiring disclosure of the intent to rely on expert opinion testimony, what the testimony will consist of, and the bases of the testimony. The amendment is intended to minimize surprise that often results from unexpected expert testimony, reduce the need for continuances, and to provide the opponent with a fair opportunity to test the merit of the expert’s testimony through focused cross-examination. See Eads, Adjudication by Ambush: Federal Prosecutors’ Use of Nonscientific Experts in a System of Limited Criminal Discovery, 67 N. C. L. Rev. 577, 622 (1989).
Like other provisions in Rule 16, subdivision (a)(1)(E) requires the government to disclose information regarding its expert witnesses if the defendant first requests the information. Once the requested information is provided, the government is entitled, under (b)(1)(C) to reciprocal discovery of the same information from the defendant. The disclosure is in the form of a written summary and only applies to expert witnesses that each side intends to call. Although no specific timing requirements are included, it is expected that the parties will make their requests and disclosures in a timely fashion.
With increased use of both scientific and nonscientific expert testimony, one of counsel’s most basic discovery needs is to learn that an expert is expected to testify. See Gianelli, Criminal Discovery, Scientific Evidence, and DNA, 44 Vand. L. Rev. 793 (1991); Symposium on Science and the Rules of Legal Procedure, 101 F.R.D. 599 (1983). This is particularly important if the expert is expected to testify on matters which touch on new or controversial techniques or opinions. The amendment is intended to meet this need by first, requiring notice of the expert’s qualifications which in turn will permit the requesting party to determine whether in fact the witness is an expert within the definition of Federal Rule of Evidence 702. Like Rule 702, which generally provides a broad definition of who qualifies as an “expert,” the amendment is broad in that it includes both scientific and nonscientific experts. It does not distinguish between those cases where the expert will be presenting testimony on novel scientific evidence. The rule does not extend, however, to witnesses who may offer only lay opinion testimony under Federal Rule of Evidence 701. Nor does the amendment extend to summary witnesses who may testify under Federal Rule of Evidence 1006 unless the witness is called to offer expert opinions apart from, or in addition to, the summary evidence.
Second, the requesting party is entitled to a summary of the expected testimony. This provision is intended to permit more complete pretrial preparation by the requesting party. For example, this should inform the requesting party whether the expert will be providing only background information on a particular issue or whether the witness will actually offer an opinion. In some instances, a generic description of the likely witness and that witness’s qualifications may be sufficient, e.g., where a DEA laboratory chemist will testify, but it is not clear which particular chemist will be available.
Third, and perhaps most important, the requesting party is to be provided with a summary of the bases of the expert’s opinion. Rule 16 (a)(1)(D) covers disclosure and access to any results or reports of mental or physical examinations and scientific testing. But the fact that no formal written reports have been made does not necessarily mean that an expert will not testify at trial. At least one federal court has concluded that that provision did not otherwise require the government to disclose the identify of its expert witnesses where no reports had been prepared. See, e.g., United States v. Johnson, 713 F.2d 654 (11th Cir. 1983, cert. denied, 484 U.S. 956 (1984) (there is no right to witness list and Rule 16 was not implicated because no reports were made in the case). The amendment should remedy that problem. Without regard to whether a party would be entitled to the underlying bases for expert testimony under other provisions of Rule 16, the amendment requires a summary of the bases relied upon by the expert. That should cover not only written and oral reports, tests, reports, and investigations, but any information that might be recognized as a legitimate basis for an opinion under Federal Rule of Evidence 703, including opinions of other experts.
The amendments are not intended to create unreasonable procedural hurdles. As with other discovery requests under Rule 16, subdivision (d) is available to either side to seek ex parte a protective or modifying order concerning requests for information under (a)(1)(E) or (b)(1)(C).
Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1994 Amendment
The amendment is intended to clarify that the discovery and disclosure requirements of the rule apply equally to individual and organizational defendants. See In re United States, 918 F.2d 138 (11th Cir. 1990) (rejecting distinction between individual and organizational defendants). Because an organizational defendant may not know what its officers or agents have said or done in regard to a charged offense, it is important that it have access to statements made by persons whose statements or actions could be binding on the defendant. See also United States v. Hughes, 413 F.2d 1244, 1251–52 (5th Cir. 1969), vacated as moot, 397 U.S. 93 (1970) (prosecution of corporations “often resembles the most complex civil cases, necessitating a vigorous probing of the mass of detailed facts to seek out the truth”).
The amendment defines defendant in a broad, nonexclusive fashion. See also 18 U.S.C. § 18 (the term “organization” includes a person other than an individual). And the amendment recognizes that an organizational defendant could be bound by an agent’s statement, see, e.g., Federal Rule of Evidence 801(d)(2), or be vicariously liable for an agent’s actions. The amendment contemplates that, upon request of the defendant, the Government will disclose any statements within the purview of the rule and made by persons whom the government contends to be among the classes of persons described in the rule. There is no requirement that the defense stipulate or admit that such persons were in a position to bind the defendant.
Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1997 Amendment
Subdivision (a)(1)(E). Under Rule 16 (a)(1)(E), as amended in 1993, the defense is entitled to disclosure of certain information about expert witnesses which the government intends to call during the trial. And if the government provides that information, it is entitled to reciprocal discovery under (b)(1)(C). This amendment is a parallel reciprocal disclosure provision which is triggered by a government request for information concerning defense expert witnesses as to the defendant’s mental condition, which is provided for in an amendment to (b)(1)(C), infra.
Subdivision (b)(1)(C). Amendments in 1993 to Rule 16 included provisions for pretrial disclosure of information, including names and expected testimony of both defense and government expert witnesses. Those disclosures are triggered by defense requests for the information. If the defense makes such requests and the government complies, the government is entitled to similar, reciprocal discovery. The amendment to Rule 16 (b)(1)(C) provides that if the defendant has notified the government under Rule 12.2 of an intent to rely on expert testimony to show the defendant’s mental condition, the government may request the defense to disclose information about its expert witnesses. Although Rule 12.2 insures that the government will not be surprised by the nature of the defense or that the defense intends to call an expert witness, that rule makes no provision for discovery of the identity, the expected testimony, or the qualifications of the expert witness. The amendment provides the government with the limited right to respond to the notice provided under Rule 12.2 by requesting more specific information about the expert. If the government requests the specified information, and the defense complies, the defense is entitled to reciprocal discovery under an amendment to subdivision (a)(1)(E), supra.
Committee Notes on Rules—2002 Amendment
The language of Rule 16 has been amended as part of the general restyling of the Criminal Rules to make them more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules. These changes are intended to be stylistic only, except as noted below.
Current Rule 16 (a)(1)(A) is now located in Rule 16 (a)(1)(A), (B), and (C). Current Rule 16 (a)(1)(B), (C), (D), and (E) have been relettered.
Amended Rule 16 (b)(1)(B) includes a change that may be substantive in nature. Rule 16 (a)(1)(E) and 16 (a)(1)(F) require production of specified information if the government intends to “use” the information “in its case-in-chief at trial.” The Committee believed that the language in revised Rule 16 (b)(1)(B), which deals with a defendant’s disclosure of information to the government, should track the similar language in revised Rule 16 (a)(1). In Rule 16 (b)(1)(B)(ii), the Committee changed the current provision which reads: “the defendant intends to introduce as evidence” to the “defendant intends to use the item . . .” The Committee recognized that this might constitute a substantive change in the rule but believed that it was a necessary conforming change with the provisions in Rule 16 (a)(1)(E) and (F), noted supra, regarding use of evidence by the government.
In amended Rule 16 (d)(1), the last phrase in the current subdivision—which refers to a possible appeal of the court’s discovery order—has been deleted. In the Committee’s view, no substantive change results from that deletion. The language is unnecessary because the court, regardless of whether there is an appeal, will have maintained the record.
Finally, current Rule 16 (e), which addresses the topic of notice of alibi witnesses, has been deleted as being unnecessarily duplicative of Rule 12.1.
References in Text
The Federal Rules of Evidence, referred to in subds. (a)(1)(G) and (b)(1)(C), are set out in the Appendix to Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.
Amendment by Public Law
2002—Subd. (a)(1)(G). Pub. L. 107–273, § 11019(b)(1), amended subpar. (G) generally.
Subd. (b)(1)(C). Pub. L. 107–273, § 11019(b)(2), amended subpar. (C) generally.
1975—Subd. (a)(1). Pub. L. 94–64 amended subpars. (A), (B), and (D) generally, and struck out subpar. (E).
Subd. (a)(4). Pub. L. 94–149 struck out par. (4) “Failure to Call Witness. The fact that a witness’ name is on a list furnished under this rule shall not be grounds for comment upon a failure to call the witness.”
Subd. (b)(1). Pub. L. 94–64 amended subpars. (A) and (B) generally, and struck out subpar. (C).
Subd. (b)(3). Pub. L. 94–149 struck out par. (3) “Failure to Call Witness. The fact that a witness’ name is on a list furnished under this rule shall not be grounds for a comment upon a failure to call a witness.”
Subd. (c). Pub. L. 94–64 amended subd. (c) generally.
Subd. (d)(1). Pub. L. 94–64 amended par. (1) generally.
Effective Date of 2002 Amendment
Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title I, § 11019(c), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1826, provided that: “The amendments made by subsection (b) [amending this rule] shall take effect on December 1, 2002.”
Effective Date of Amendments Proposed April 22, 1974; Effective Date of 1975 Amendments
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