Discovery Reform

NACDL collaborated with partners to successfully advocate for major discovery reforms in Virginia.

NACDL has worked with its state affiliate, the Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (VACDL), legislators on both sides of the aisle, including Senate sponsor Bill Stanley, numerous attorneys across the Commonwealth, and other groups and individuals seeking discovery reform in Virginia. These efforts included public education and community events, legislative lobbying, and grassroots campaigns. 
On September 5, 2018, the Supreme Court of Virginia issued amended criminal discovery rules, (took effect July 1, 2020), marking the first such overhaul in decades. Specifically, the Court amended Rules 3A:11 (Discovery and Inspection) and 3A:12 (Subpoena) of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia. The amended rules provide far greater pretrial disclosure by prosecutors, including the inspection and review of police reports and statements of co-defendants and alleged co-conspirators that are sought to be introduced at trial. The amended rules also create mutual obligations on the defense and prosecution relating to the exchange of witness lists and expert witness information.

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