Posts tagged "1113114"

Commonwealth v. Hunt (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-131-14)

NOTICE: All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports. If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; 13-P-850 Appeals Court COMMONWEALTH vs. DEREK HUNT. No. 13-P-850. Bristol. May 7, 2014. – October 6, 2014. Present: Cypher, Kafker, & Hanlon, JJ. Contempt. Attorney at Law, Contempt. Practice, Civil, Contempt, Attorney’s fees, Moot case, Frivolous action. Practice, Criminal, Subpoena, Affidavit, Discovery. Rules of Criminal Procedure. Evidence, Privileged communication. Privileged Communication. Moot Question. Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court Department on March 30, 2009. Entry of a finding of contempt was ordered by Richard T. Moses, J. Christopher C. Trundy (Donald A. Brisson with him) for Donald A. Brisson. Matthew A. Kamholtz (Aviva E. Jeruchim with him) for Derek Hunt. HANLON, J. Donald Brisson appeals from an order of the Superior Court finding him in civil contempt for failing to 2 produce certain documents pursuant to Mass.R.Crim.P. 17(a)(2), 378 Mass. 885 (1979). Brisson is an attorney who was representing four potential witnesses who were cooperating with the Commonwealth in the pending murder charges against the defendant, Derek Hunt. Counsel for the defendant asked for permission to subpoena the documents and the judge ordered them produced; when Brisson refused to turn them over, he was found in contempt. We vacate the order of contempt. Background. The significant facts are not in dispute. On March 30, 2009, the defendant was indicted on charges of murder and carrying a firearm without a license. Approximately two years later, in April of 2011, at the request of the defendant, Brisson was appointed to represent four potential witnesses, on the ground that their testimony could violate their rights under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The judge described the witnesses’ testimony as “critical to the Commonwealth’s case.” Shortly before the scheduled trial, the “client-witnesses disclosed to the District Attorney’s Office alleged improper conduct of defense counsel and/or her investigator, which sought to influence their testimony at trial.” Thereafter, the four witnesses appeared before a separately convened grand jury investigating the claims against defense counsel and her investigator and, during that process, the four were given immunity for their testimony. 3 In the meantime, apparently believing that there were credibility issues in the witnesses’ proposed trial testimony, defense counsel filed a motion “to authorize [her] to subpoena to the clerk’s office of Fall River Superior Court any and all records, notes, documents, and recordings in the possession of Attorney Donald Brisson relative to his representation” […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - October 6, 2014 at 9:21 pm

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