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Brady v. Maryland: Criminal Procedural Rights and Civil Causes of Action

OnDemand Webinar (86 minutes)

Understand and be attentive of law enforcement's obligation to disclose exculpatory evidence.

Under Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963), a prosecutor's duty to disclose exculpatory and impeachment evidence is critical. Failure to do so violates a defendant's constitutional rights, leading to a wrongful conviction and potential money damages against police and others. This ondemand webinar covers the mandates and nuances of Brady and its progeny-fundamental knowledge for every prosecutor and defense attorney. It also describes the contours of civil remedies under 42 USC § 1983 for those wrongfully convicted due to Brady disclosure failures. Everyone involved in police investigations, criminal prosecutions, defense of the accused, and civil litigation involved in the aftermath of a wrongful conviction due to Brady violations will benefit from this presentation.


Andrew M. Morse, Snow, Christensen & Martineau


Overview of Lecture: Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963) a Landmark Case Whose Contours Are Still Evolving

• Disclosure Rule

• Civil 42 USC § 1983 Cause of Action for Failure to Disclose II Prosecutors'

Ethical Duties to Disclose

• Independent of Brady

• ABA Model Rules

• ABA Prosecution Standards

Brady Rule

• Foundational Precedents

• Brady Facts

• Brady Holding: Exculpatory and Impeachment Evidence Must Be Disclosed

Procedural and Systemic Issues

• Procedural Framework

• Judicial Involvement in Brady Determinations

• Post-Conviction Disclosures

• Application to Guilty Pleas

• Innocence and Wrongful Convictions

Specific Types of Brady Evidence

• Eyewitness Misidentification

• Cooperation Agreements

• Scientific Tests and Reports

• Physical Evidence; Third-Party Guilt

• Witness Background and Impeachment

• Defective Investigation

• False Evidence

Civil Claims for Brady Violations

• Basic Rule of §1983 Claims

• 14th Amendment Claims

• Defendants; Plaintiffs

• Level of Culpability Required When Negligence Is Not Enough

• Materiality of Nondisclosed Evidence

• Exculpatory Nature of Nondisclosed Evidence

• Implications of Parrat v. Taylor

• State Law Remedies

• Qualified Immunity

• Damages

Best Practices

• Prosecutors

• Defense Counsel; Plaintiff Counsel

• Civil Defense Counsel