Problems and Changes in Criminal Procedures Resulting From COVID-19

September 2020

On September 21, 2020, partner Rob Cary was featured in The Legal Intelligencer article “Problems and Changes in Criminal Procedures Resulting From COVID-19,” which addresses the many changes COVID-19 has brought to the legal system, including with respect to criminal procedure given that open hearings are guaranteed by the constitution.  “While many people are trying their best, it is impossible to have a fair criminal trial during a pandemic,” Rob commented.  “How can you decide what witnesses to call when it is next to impossible to interview them in person?  If you subpoena a witness for trial, and she must cross state lines, is it fair to subpoena her two weeks in advance so she can serve a mandatory quarantine before she can testify?  Can we expect jurors to deliberate patiently while sequestered?  Video conferencing is going to remain a part of our lives, but it should never be a substitute for live cross examination.”
Rob Cary is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and Co-Chair of Williams & Connolly’s Law Firm Defense Practice Group.  He has extensive experience representing companies and individuals in government investigations.  The most recent edition of Chambers & Partners describes Rob as an “absolutely brilliant” lawyer, who “encompasses all of Williams & Connolly’s best attributes.  He’s aggressive, he brings the fight, and he is really, really smart.”  Rob has co-taught “Defending a Criminal Case” at Vanderbilt Law School and has taught “Federal White Collar Crime” and “Trial Advocacy” at Georgetown University Law Center.  He has lectured at a number of other law schools.  Rob is a frequent speaker on criminal law, legal ethics, and professional liability.  
Click here to read the full article. 

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