Federal Courts–Discovery–Stay of Discovery in Civil Court To Protect Proceedings in Concurrent Criminal Action–The Pattern of Remedies

The federal criminal discovery rules were a carefully weighed compromise between the parties’ needs for information and the defendant’s need for protection from inquisatorial investigation. This balance may be upset when the more liberal discovery rules in a concurrent, related civil action permit information to be obtained which is not discoverable under the criminal rules. Two recent cases, United States v. Simon and United States v. American Radiator &- Standard Sanitary Corp., illustrate the difficulty of protecting the integrity of the criminal discovery rules in such a situation.