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Third Circuit Decision Highlights the Challenges Facing Businesses Receiving Secret Grand Jury Subpoenas

On January 31, 2020 by Schnader in Client Alerts

Laurel Gift published a new client alert, “Third Circuit Decision Highlights the Challenges Facing Businesses Receiving Secret Grand Jury Subpoenas.” The alert reads in part:

Businesses routinely receive subpoenas for records. When the subpoenas are issued in connection with a grand jury investigation, deciding how to respond can become complicated and nuanced. Grand jury secrecy and investigative demands often hamper the ability of a business to negotiate a reasonable scope and timeline for production. The viability of meaningful defenses and proactive challenges to grand jury subpoenas may also be limited by grand jury secrecy.

Key aspects of these issues were addressed in a recent precedential opinion by the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. In the Matter of the Application of Subpoena 2018R00776 explores the relationship between freedom of speech under the First Amendment – as it affects businesses and their employees and customers – and grand jury nondisclosure orders. The Third Circuit’s opinion has significant implications for First Amendment challenges to the exercise of grand jury powers, in both federal and state grand jury practice.

Gift is the Chair of Schnader’s Criminal Defense practice group and the Internal Investigations, Ethics and Compliance practice group.

Read the full report here.