Some lawyers think ambush is the better tactic; I frankly would rather not be accidentally prosecuting someone who might be innocent, and I’d rather have your insight upfront.
That’s a Harris County prosecutor, responding to my pointing out a couple of the problems that I saw with the case against my client.
I wrote years ago about NLSes, or Nasty Little Surprises. An NLS is something about the defense of a criminal case that the lawyer doesn’t reveal to the prosecution before trial. I always like to have an NLS.
There are lots of good reasons not to reveal to the government the holes in its case until a jury has been sworn. Not revealing your NLSes, for example, conditions prosecutors to expect NLSes. Prosecutors don’t seem to care for this explanation; here’s an explanation that I think is harder to argue with:
When the cops find out the problems with your case, the truth may change. And if the truth is going to change, I’d rather have it happen in front of the jury than in your conference room.