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Name: Roland v. Superior Court
Case #: C047007
Opinion Date: 11/18/2004
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Citation: 124 Cal.App.4th 154
Summary

Under California’s reciprocal discovery law, the defense must provide the prosecution with reports of unrecorded oral statements provided by witnesses the defense intends to call at trial. Prior to trial the prosecutor requested statements of certain witnesses whom the defense had indicated would be called to testify, and over objection the court ordered the defense to turn over those witnesses’ statements even though the statements had not been recorded. The court gave counsel the option of handing over copies of written reports regarding the statements, or calling the prosecutor and giving him an oral report of those statements. The Court of Appeal affirmed, holding that the plain language of Penal Code section 1054.3 as well as the clear intent of Proposition 115 compelled disclosure of any relevant untaped oral statements of witnesses set to be called at trial where those statements were communicated orally to defense counsel by a third party such as an investigator. Further, the court held that the requirements of section 1054.3 extended to oral witness statements made directly to defense counsel. The court found no violation of the defendant’s privilege against self-incrimination, her right to effective assistance of counsel, or her attorney-client or work-product privileges. The court noted that the statute imposes no duty on defense counsel to seek out such statements, but only required her to disclose relevant statements obtained from persons intended to be called at trial.