Outside Counsel

Drawing Fifth Amendment Adverse Inferences Against Corporate Defendants

, New York Law Journal


Jed I. Bergman and Cynthia M. Jordano summarize the key principles courts generally apply in deciding whether to permit Fifth Amendment adverse inferences in civil suits against corporate defendants. To support drawing such adverse inferences, a plaintiff must satisfy three prerequisites. First, there must be independent evidence corroborating the inference. Second, the plaintiff must persuade the court to impute that inference to the corporate defendant. Third, the probative value of the inference must outweigh any unfair prejudice.

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