While there has been some progress towards a restoration of the nation’s Fourth Amendment rights, there have also been several steps back.
It may be too clever by half, but maybe the collection of phone data wasn’t really a search or seizure? Maybe it’s a “reasonable” search?
At Recommind, we regularly take the initiative to learn what lessons can be distilled from firms that are having real success in discovery practice. Here are five of them…
The United States Supreme Court has tackled the issue of cell phone privacy and ruled that data is different from other forms of technology. In late June, the Supreme Court issued an opinion: those of David Riley, a California man whose smartphone police officers searched, and Brima Wurie, a Massachusetts man who was carrying an older “flip phone” when he was arrested.2 The Riley and Wurie cases presented a straightforward, common question: “whether the police may, without a warrant, search digital information on a cell phone seized from an individual who has been arrested.”3 In Riley, police stopped the defendant for driving with an expired registration and discovered that his license had been suspended.4 After arresting Riley and impounding his vehicle at the police station, loaded firearms were discovered during a routine inventory search of Riley’s car. The police used this discovery as motivation to rummage through the defendant’s cell phone data, where they found photos and videos potentially linking him to gang activity, including a shooting for which he was later charged. In Wurie, the defendant was arrested on suspicion of selling drugs. At the police station, two cell phones were seized from Wurie. One of the phones, an antiquated “flip phone,” received repeated calls from a number identified as “my house.” After accessing the call history and phone directory, the police were able to identify the caller’s phone number and address. The address did, in fact, turn out to be Wurie’s house, from which they seized illegal drugs, a firearm, and cash attributed to the defendant. In neither case did police obtain a warrant before searching the phones.
* SeaWorld lost its appeal. Apparently it’s not safe to lock murderous animals in a small pool and have people swim with them. [Blog of the Legal Times]
* Do you know what “Heartbleed” is? If the answer is no, you need to click on this immediately for the 10 things every lawyer needs to know about the latest computer security crisis. [Versus Texas]
* We’ve been hearing about declining law school applications, now let’s look at new projections of law school graduates. [The Faculty Lounge]
* Professor Orin Kerr explains that it might be time for courts to adopt computer-specific Fourth Amendment rules. Adapting 18th Century thinking to meet modern times? That’s crazy talk. [The Volokh Conspiracy / Washington Post]
* These guys must be the best Grand Theft Auto players ever. [Legal Juice]
* Being nice is a strength rather than a weakness. I’m incredulous. [Katz Justice]
* Justice Antonin Scalia isn’t quite ready to publicly weigh in on whether computer data is considered a protected “effect” under the Fourth Amendment. “[T]hat may well come up [before the Supreme Court],” he says. Thanks NSA. [Business Insider]
* “[I]t doesn’t take many bad apples in a barrel to cause a stink.” No matter how hard Biglaw firms try to keep their confidential information locked down, someone’s going trade on it. It looks like STB is learning that the hard way. [Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)]
* The day after Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage was struck down by Judge Bernard Friedman, couples who rushed to marry were met with some serious Sixth Circuit sadness. Way to stay and spoil all of the celebrations, judges. [New York Times]
* “We’re not the Cleveland Browns,” says one of Case Western Law’s interim co-deans. With that kind of a glowing endorsement, we don’t see how this law school could possibly fail. [Crain's Cleveland Business]
* Rutgers Law-Newark has a new low-bono fellowship program “believed to be the first of its kind in the nation.” Some other law schools might have a bone to pick about that statement. [New Jersey Star-Ledger]
Proving he still understands his proper role as above every holder of constitutional office, John Yoo weighs in on the NSA.
What insights into law and liberty can be gleaned from Dave Eggers’s new book, The Circle?
It is now considered unconstitutional to stop and frisk New Yorkers solely on the basis of race.
Regardless of how protected you think you are, TCPA lawsuits continue to rise. With a 70% increase since 2012, it’s clear that companies are putting themselves at risk each day they de-prioritize their protection strategy. Attend this webinar to learn how you can help clients protect themselves. (Sponsored)
We don’t need no stinkin’ warrants!
* Half-Law office, Half-Barbershop. That makes sense, I’ve seen some haircuts that should be crimes. We hear they even have a $5 haircut special called “The Misdemeanor.” [New Britain Herald]
* The editors of Ramblings on Appeal give their takes on Shelby County. Rarely has truer legal analysis been offered than characterizing Roberts’s decision as, “Oh and I have five people on my side, you only have four, so take that.” [Ramblings on Appeal]
* UVA law professor Chris Sprigman has co-authored an op-ed calling out the NSA. Oh, that guy’s phone is getting tapped. [New York Times]
* The Expert Institute continues to draw from popular culture to coach expert testimony. This time it’s Game of Thrones. It’s a handy set of lessons, but “Never Trust a Frey” deserved mention. [The Expert Institute]
* The Justice Department is bringing on unpaid attorneys because slave labor is awesome and unpaid internships are never elitist and discriminatory. [Pro Publica]
* On that note, Bar President calls for an end to unpaid 3L internships. Video after the jump…
Justice Stevens defends the decision in Maryland v. King to an audience of folks who could not disagree more.
Federal judge is not impressed with legal defense of city that shot a dog.
11th Circuit, 4th Circuit, 7th Circuit, Bankruptcy, BAR/BRI, Career Alternatives, Disability Law, Drugs, Frank Easterbrook, Law Professors, Law Schools, Marijuana, Non-Sequiturs, Paralegals, Technology
* The Dukes of Hazzard and Braveheart cited in the Eleventh Circuit. Other circuits, the gauntlet has been thrown down. [Volokh Conspiracy]
* Dave’s not here, man. Probably not the smartest stoner on the planet. [Lowering the Bar]
* Former Skadden attorney loses her appeal claiming that insomnia constituted a disability. It’s a setback for her, but nothing worth losing sleep over. [National Law Journal]
* The Second Circuit agreed with every other court that heard the motion and denied the effort to recuse Magistrate Judge Peck from the Da Silva Moore predictive coding case. [IT-Lex]
* Maybe it’s time for law professors to get off their duffs and try helping out their unemployed students directly. [Concurring Opinions]
* Judge Easterbrook allows a $25K student-loan discharge for a ‘destitute’ paralegal. The educational-industrial complex is not going to sit still for this. [ABA Journal]
* Saira Rao, of Chambermaid (affiliate link) fame, has a new publishing venture — check it out. [Kickstarter]
* Oh, BARBRI. What’s the Matter with Kansas, indeed (after the jump)….
* Posted previously on Facebook (now pulled):
* What Dewey know about this failed firm’s bankruptcy case? According to Judge Glenn’s latest order, it seems like D&L’s Chapter 11 plan is on track for confirmation in late February, unless there are objections, of course. [Am Law Daily (sub. req.)]
* The Law School Admission Council is suing California because the state’s legislature banned the practice of alerting schools when applicants had extra time to complete the LSAT. How lovely that LSAC values the ability to discriminate. [National Law Journal]
* “It’s not like we let anybody in the door. We don’t.” Apparently Cooley Law’s new Florida campus has very stringent admissions standards. Oh really? What else is required, aside from a pulse? [Tampa Tribune]
* It’s now too constitutionally risky for cops to get all frisky: a federal judge ordered that the NYPD cease its stock-and-frisk trespass stops without reasonable suspicion of actual trespass. [New York Law Journal]
* Tamara Brady, the lawyer for the accused shooter in the Aurora movie theater massacre, is setting the stage for her client’s diminished capacity defense — because even the mentally ill can buy guns. [Bloomberg]
* Pfc. Bradley Manning of WikiLeaks infamy will receive a reduced sentence if he’s convicted due to his illegal pretrial punishment, like being forced to sleep in the nude. A true hero! [Nation Now / Los Angeles Times]