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Law 101: Legal Guide for the Forensic Expert

Removing Documents From the Case File

Photo of a file folder. Caption reads, 'Supporting Documents: Maintain in a central location."
National Institute of Justice (NIJ) (see reuse policy).

An attorney or expert, when faced with a formal request for production of file documents, may not remove items from a file without making a disclosure of that removal to opposing counsel. In a criminal case, the intentional withholding of evidence could itself be considered a criminal act and may subject the expert and/or the attorney to legal action. The expert should not be a party to removal of any items from a case file without disclosing that removal to opposing counsel. If in doubt, the expert should bring the matter to a laboratory supervisor's attention.

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