In April 2009, Chief Justice Rabner of the Supreme Court of New Jersey appointed the Supreme Court Special Committee on Discovery in Criminal and Quasi-Criminal Matters (hereinafter the Committee). The Committee “was appointed to recommend solutions to a variety of issues that had arisen as the result of the increasing use of electronically stored information in criminal cases.” After significant investigation, the Committee has recently reported its recommendations, which include both proposed amendments to several rules as well as “non-rule recommendations.”
Issues identified for serious consideration by the Committee included many that are familiar to practitioners on the “civil side,” such as problems with incompatibility between the format of production and the equipment/software available to defense counsel, discovery related costs, and discovery-related delays as well as problems that are unique to criminal cases, including issues related to attorney-client visitation in county jails, for example. With so many issues to consider, the resulting report and recommendations are significant and too sweeping to succinctly summarize. For those who want to learn more, however, a copy of the full report is available here.
Additionally, for those who are interested, comments on the proposals are invited; the deadline for submission is June 4.