Southern District Civil Practice Roundup

Hurdles and Consequences to Asserting the Fifth Amendment in Civil Litigation

, New York Law Journal


In their Southern District Civil Practice Roundup, Edward M. Spiro and Judith L. Mogul write: Although a party or witness in civil litigation may invoke the Fifth Amendment, such invocation often comes at a high price, because, in contrast to the criminal context, the finder of fact in a civil case may draw an adverse inference against the party or witness who declines to provide evidence based on the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination. Recent decisions from the Southern District address when and how the Fifth Amendment can be invoked in civil litigation, and the ramifications to litigants when parties and non-party witnesses avail themselves of that privilege.

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