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January 17, 2018

Progress in Criminal Discovery Reform

The VSB’s Criminal Discovery Reform Task Force has unanimously approved proposals addressing rules for reciprocal disclosure of witness lists and expert witness information, as well as exchanging witness statements, and sharing police reports and witness statements with defense counsel. Proposals have been forwarded to the Judicial Council’s Advisory Committee on Rules of Court for consideration at its meeting on April 4, 2018. The proposed reform would expand the scope of the limited discovery currently permitted under Rule 3A:11. The most significant proposal would permit the accused or defense counsel to inspect reports prepared by law enforcement officers. The proposed amendments would also require the reciprocal exchange of witness lists by defense counsel and the commonwealth’s attorney and require defense counsel to provide expert witness information as required of commonwealth attorneys under the current rule.

To see a redlined version of the proposed amendments use this link: http://m.vsb.org/docs/prop-rule-3A11.pdf

Updated: Jan 17, 2018

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