Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Connecticut Appellate Court holds that there is no duty to disclose exculpatory evidence

About a week ago, the Connecticut Appellate Court addressed a very interesting question that I have to confess I had not thought about before.  Now I want to do some research to see how it has been approached in other jurisdictions.

The question is whether the state has an obligation to disclose exculpatory evidence to an attorney as part of a disciplinary proceeding.  In this case, an attorney was disciplined, but he later argued that he was entitled to a new trial because bar counsel allegedly suppressed evidence that may have disproved the charge.  The court however held that Brady v. Maryland does not apply in bar disciplinary cases, stressing that Brady‘s applicability is limited to criminal prosecutions.  However, the court also hints that the argument was irrelevant in any case because the attorney in the case had knowledge of the evidence that he accused bar counsel of suppressing.

The case is Smigelski v. Dubois and you can read the decision here.