Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Norris Amicus Brief Filed

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) filed an amicus brief in the Ian Norris case - Download Norris v United States (11-91) Brief of NACDL as Amicus Curiae in Support of Petitioner_FINAL It highlights some of the important issues in this case. (for background see here). It brings out important issues such as:

  • "[T]he Third Circuit's ruling renders effective representation of both the corporate and individual clients ensnared in a government investigation impossible, and encroaches on the rights embodied in the Sixth Amendment."
  • "The decision endorses Government efforts to compel counsel to testify against their clients."

The Supreme Court raised in footnote 7 of Arthur Andersen LLP that there was a split in interpreting "corruptly persuades"in 18 USC 1512(b). The Court did not resolve this split in Andersen.

The NACDL brief places front and center the question of what should be the scope of the Bevill test.  It also shows the ramifications of continuing with this test, a test that runs counter an important constitutional principle. Lower courts have been looking to the Third Circuit Bevill test, but it has yet to be endorsed in any Supreme Court opinion. Norris, presents this issue with an added dimension of a statute that has mixed interpretations.

(esp)

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