Sunday, December 2, 2007
The latest in the Jamie Olis case is a Brief on why Jamie Olis should receive bail. It includes arguments on the likelihood of success on appeal. There is a motion for discovery that raises issues of whether Olis was properly given exculpatory material by the Government. Attorney Cassman has an affidavit that provides support. A key issue will be whether the U.S. Attorney's Office had contact with Dynegy and failed to disclose this to the accused. The affidavit states that "testimony at the recent Yates v. Dynegy civil trial demonstrates that the USAO had frequent contact with other Dynegy employees — including attorneys in Dynegy’s general counsel’s office — during the prosecution of Olis."
In recent years we have seen issues of the government using civil matters collaterally with criminal matters. In most cases this benefits the government. But, this case may be the warning sign to the government about having tangential civil matters, especially when these matters may provide evidence that needs to be disclosed to the defense. Certainly the government cannot claim that the civil and criminal divisions are separate and therefore the items are not subject to discovery. If the government intends to continue to use doctrines like "collective knowledge" against defendants then they too must be subject to its rules. What was the collective knowledge of the government here, and was the discovery properly provided to defense counsel prior to trial?