Vanderbilt Law Review

First Page



This Recent Development examines the current conflict among the circuits. This study first explores the rationales under-lying use immunity and contrasts them with the guidelines formulated by the Supreme Court for controlling judicial disclosure of grand jury testimony. Second, this Recent Development examines the analyses used by the federal courts in determining whether to release immunized grand jury testimony for civil use's and the effect of disclosure on a witness' claim of fifth amendment privilege.This study submits that in their effort to promote civil discovery,several courts have misconstrued the scope and effect of the disclosure power and have usurped the prosecutor's exclusive right under the federal statute to grant immunity. This Recent Development suggests alternative guidelines that courts might use in determining whether to release immunized grand jury testimony and the effect that disclosure should have on a court's evaluation of a witness' fifth amendment claim. The study concludes that courts should not allow disclosure and private litigants' use of immunized testimony to override a witness' otherwise valid assertion of the right against self-incrimination.