Saturday, December 28, 2013

Will v. United States case brief

Will v. United States case brief summary
389 U.S. 90 (1967)

CASE SYNOPSIS
Petitioner, a federal district judge, sought review of a writ of mandamus issued by the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit to compel petitioner to vacate a portion of a pretrial discovery order in a criminal case. The order at issue required respondent United States to supply the defense with information concerning oral statements of defendant relied upon by respondent to support the charge in the indictment.

DISCUSSION

  • The United States Supreme Court vacated a writ of mandamus compelling petitioner, a federal district judge, to vacate a portion of a pretrial discovery order in a criminal case and remanded the case for further proceedings. 
  • The discovery order at issue required respondent United States to supply the defense with information regarding oral statements of defendant relied upon by respondent to support the charge in the indictment. 
  • According to the Court, there was nothing in the record to support the issuance of the writ despite the fact that the appeals court was required to give a reasoned exposition of the basis for its action. 
  • Respondent, as the party seeking mandamus, had the burden of showing that its right to issuance of the writ was clear and indisputable. 
  • The Court held that the most that could be claimed on the record was that petitioner might have erred in ruling on matters within his jurisdiction. 
  • Mandamus was not designed to control the decision of the trial court, but merely to confine the lower court to the sphere of its discretionary power. 
  • The record simply failed to demonstrate the necessity for the drastic remedy employed by the appeals court.

CONCLUSION
A writ of mandamus compelling petitioner, a federal district judge, to vacate a portion of a pretrial discovery order in a criminal case was vacated and the case was remanded for further proceedings, where there was nothing in the record to support the issuance of the writ despite the fact that the appeals court was required to give a reasoned exposition of the basis for its action.


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