“Civil litigation is tense in the best of times. But the pressure takes on a new dimension when the specter of criminal liability looms over the case. In several recent high-profile civil cases — such as actress Ashley Judd’s defamation lawsuit against film producer Harvey Weinstein, gymnast Aly Raisman’s sexual assault case against the U.S. Olympic Committee, and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s action against former Theranos Inc. executive Sunny Balwani — the presence of parallel criminal proceedings has complicated the discovery process and raised vexing procedural questions.

Even in more routine cases, the mere prospect of potential criminal exposure or interest by government investigators can stymie the battle plans of both plaintiffs and defendants.”

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