BANNING COUNSEL FROM DISCUSSING A WITNESS STATEMENT WITH THE DEFENDANT
The DA was concerned about the safety of a key witness. So the DA handed over the statement of the witness, but got the judge to order defense counsel NOT to discuss the statement with the defendant.
See any problem with that? I mean, what judge would do that? Fortunately, the Court of APpeal saw a BIG problem with that. I think it's called Due Process.
The California Court of Appeal starts with Geders (425 U.S. 80), where the US Supremes held that a court order barring defense counsel from talking to the defendant during an overnight break in the defendant's testimony violated the defendant's right to counsel. The AG argues that this case didn't involve a total ban on communication, just a ban on a specific topic.
The Court of Appeal recognizes the need of counsel to consult with his client on the
statement at issue. Hey, the witness TESTIFIED, for goodness' sake. The scope of the order here was ambiguous, but apparently the ban barred counsel from discussing that testimony with the defendant! Anyway, the Court of Appeal notes that the DA couldn't show good cause for the order, even assuming such an order could ever be made.
People v. Hernandez; 2009 DJ DAR 15880; DJ, 11/10/09; C/A 6th