DE: Jail cell seizure of trial and A-C privileged materials requires disqualification of entire prosecution team; dismissal order reversed

Prosecutors ordered a prison cell search of a murder defendant’s cell, and legal materials and trial strategy materials were seized. It started with a search to see if a protective order was violated, but it ended up being quite broad. Attorney-client and work product materials were seized. Defense counsel moved to dismiss the case as a sanction, and the trial court granted it. The state appealed. The Supreme Court reversed the dismissal order as too great a sanction. Instead, it disqualified everybody in the prosecution team involved with the search and seeing the materials for the Sixth Amendment violation. The trial court’s finding of actual prejudice is supported by the evidence and affirmed. State v. Robinson, 2019 Del. LEXIS 194 (Apr. 16, 2019).

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