An article by Ingrid S. Martin and Michael R. DiStefano surveying the latest trends in federal proffer agreements appears in the latest edition of The Champion published by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
Proffer agreements establish ground rules for pre-indictment interviews of individuals and protect against prosecutorial use of interview statements at a subsequent criminal trial.
After surveying numerous proffer agreements used by federal prosecutors across the U.S., Ms. Martin and Mr. DiStefano found that the protection offered in proffer agreements comes with significant risks, from limiting what a criminal defendant can say on the stand at trial to potentially hamstringing defense strategies and important lines of cross-examination, they write.
Informed by both the benefits and limitations of proffer agreements, the article offers practical advice on proffers – from how to approach discussions with the government to how to advise the client on handling proffer session questioning.
Ms. Martin, a partner at the firm, focuses her practice on the intersection of criminal defense and healthcare law, defending clients in criminal investigations, licensing and accreditation challenges, and other governmental health care investigations. Mr. DiStefano concentrates his practice in the areas of government investigations and criminal defense, including defending clients at trial and in pre-indictment government investigations.