Escaping 'Nixon's' Legacy: the Proper Standard for Rule 17(c) Subpoenas

April 2, 2013  |  New York Law Journal

This article discusses the courts' treatment of criminal defendants' document subpoenas to third parties under Rule 17(c) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. Over the years, the practical utility of these subpoenas has been limited because courts have tended to hold them to the demanding standard that the Supreme Court utilized in United States v. Nixon, even though that standard arose in a different context. The article discusses how in recent decisions, however, courts have properly begun to depart from the rote application of the Nixon standard.

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