Discovery of “confidential” information

D.C. Circuit remands case for district court to determine which company records, including from an internal investigation, were material to the defendant’s defense “and to protect against the public disclosure of material documents in a manner consistent with Thompson’s right to a fair trial,” in United States v. Thompson, __ F.3d __ (D.C. Cir. April 17, 2009) (No. 08-5203).

This is courtesy of Federal Evidence Review blog and is a useful case about discovery.  For military cases I suspect this could be an issue most often in computer crimes cases where AOL, Yahoo, etc., cooperate with the police but want to protect their internal “confidential” records and procedures.  Well they can do that, but an accused’s constitutional rights will or should override.  As the case suggests a court protective order can serve, just as it does in Mil. R. Evid. 412 issues.

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