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« The Morning Wrap | Main | Obama Lawyers Make Their Case for Regulation »

June 18, 2010

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Carl Lietz

Rule 16 should be amended in the manner discussed in the Williams & Connolly letter. However, the Advisory Committee should also amend Rule 16 by requiring the parties in criminal cases to exchange witness lists. This is an equally (if not more important) change that is long overdue. Interestingly, in 1974, both the Advisory Committee and the Supreme Court approved an amendment to Rule 16 that required parties in criminal cases to exchange witness lists. Before the amendment became effective, however, Congress stepped in, at the behest of the Department of Justice, and eliminated the witness disclosure provisions of Rule 16. Our firm recently wrote to Judge Tallman regarding this issue. There is no valid reason for not making the change that both the Advisory Committee and the Supreme Court approved in 1974. Most (if not all) states require prosecutors to identify the witnesses that they will call at trial and it time for the federal government to be required to do the same.

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