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Bridgeman, et al. v. District Attorney
Brief for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers as Amici Curiae.
Argument: Due process and the Rules of Professional Conduct require the prosecutors to promptly notify individual defendants of the exculpatory evidence in each affected case. Because the Commonwealth was aware of this exculpatory evidence at the time of each trial or plea, Brady v. Maryland requires prompt disclosure to each defendant. That a Brady violation occurred in each Dookhan defendant’s case is clear. Prior decisions of both the U.S. Supreme Court and this Court support the conclusion that Brady requires disclosure for defendants whose trials included Dookhan-tainted evidence. Prior decisions of both the U.S. Supreme Court and this Court support the conclusion that Brady requires disclosure for defendants in Dookhan-tainted cases who pled guilty. All prosecutors of Dookhan cases have an ethical obligation to promptly disclose this exculpatory evidence pursuant to Massachusetts Rule of Professional Conduct 3.8(d).
United States v. Tarnai
Brief of Amicus Curiae National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in Support of Appellant and Urging Reversal.
Argument: Plea agreement waivers prohibiting a defendant from seeking post-conviction relief from deprivation of the right to effective assistance of counsel should never be enforced. A defense attorney has an inherent and unwaivable conflict. Criminal defendants are entitled to conflict-free counsel. Prosecutors also violate rules of professional conduct when they insist on IAC waivers in pleas agreements. The majority of ethics authorities to consider this issue have ruled that defense attorneys are prohibited from advising clients to accept IAC waivers. Congress has required federal prosecutors to adhere to state ethics rules.