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19 CUNY L. Rev. Footnote Forum 1 (2015-2016)

handle is hein.journals/cunyform19 and id is 1 raw text is: 

               CUNY Law Review Footnote Forum
                            December 8, 2015

Recommended citation:
Emilee A. Sahli, E-Discovery in Criminal Defense: Challenges of Pretrial Detainee
Access, 19 CUNY L. REV. F. 1 (2015), http://www.cunylawreview.org/e-discovery-in-
criminal-defense-challenges-of-pretrial-detainee-access/ [https://perma.cc/CU6P-WM84].



                            Emilee A. Sahli*


    Imagine that you are a criminal defense attorney and your client is being
charged with a felony, denied bail, and held in pretrial detention on federal
drug charges. It could be years before your client has an opportunity for
trial. In the rare event that your client decides to hold out against pressures
to accept a plea agreement, your client's ability to participate in their own
defense is extremely limited by the conditions of their confinement. Any
reasonable penological explanation for restricting their access to calls or
meeting with you to review evidence in the law library and otherwise
participate  in   the  investigation   process   will  be   constructively
unchallengeable in court.
    Imagine, instead, that you have another client-one facing various
federal charges for fraud and embezzlement-who has been granted, and
was able to post bail. This client may also wait years for trial. However,
they will not have the same restrictions on their ability to participate in their
own defense as your client held in pretrial detention. This client would have
the freedom of movement and the time and resources to communicate more
openly with you and your staff, to review discovery, and to overall assist in
the investigation and discovery review process. This discrepancy in the
rights of those detained pretrial and those who are offered and able to post

     A third year student at City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law, the
author works as a Discovery Project Manager with a Coordinating Discovery Attorney in
Manhattan specializing in e-discovery in complex multi-defendant federal criminal
litigation throughout the country. She has also worked with a Coordinating Discovery
Attorney in Seattle, WA. An important aspect of this work is coordinating the distribution
of discovery to pretrial detainees as well as developing discovery review tools for defense

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