Since the Court of Criminal Appeals granted a stay of execution for Attorney Client privilege I haven’t blogged about the subject. I think it’s time to start the conversation again.
One thing that the ACP protects is your attorney’s work product, his files, his notes etc. Without attorney client privilege the State could issue a warrant and seize your attorney’s files. Think that wouldn’t happen? You must not practice law in Collin County.
TCDLA sent this email today detailing the police raid on defense lawyer Keith Gore’s office. Keith was under suspicion from local authorities for allegedly representing a criminal defendant in Collin County.
The police thought Keith may have actual physical evidence in his possession. There was a subpoena issued for the evidence and the police raided Keith’s office. No physical evidence was found, so the police took Mr. Gore’s files instead. This is the sort of skullduggery that attorney client privilege and work product doctrine are supposed to protect.
Attached is the Amicus brief filed August 5 in Collin County on behalf of TCDLA, in support of Keith Gore. To see the brief please click on this link: http://www.tcdla.com/docs/AMICUS%20BRIEF%20FIILED%208-5-08.pdf
As you may know, the issue here concerns the search of a lawyer’s office, which resulted in the seizure of a box of documents. On February 29, 2008, TCDLA Member Keith Gore from McKinney had his office searched pursuant to a search warrant. Before the warrant was signed, the Collin County Grand Jury had issued a grand jury subpoena for certain evidence believed to be in Gore’s possession regarding his defense of a person accused of capital murder. Gore properly filed a motion to quash the subpoena and set a hearing. Before the hearing could be held, the State obtained the search warrant.
This is a matter of highest importance to TCDLA. Keith Gore is a highly respected lawyer and member. Gore was defending his client and the State’s ability to obtain evidence in his possession through proper legal means. The State denied Gore the opportunity to be heard at the hearing on the motion by obtaining the search warrant.
A hearing was held today on the defendant’s motion to recuse the judge, who had heard the motion on stipulated evidence. The court was concerned that the judge issuing the search warrant knew about the hearing on the motion to quash before he signed the warrant and that the judge issuing the search warrant became a chain of custody witness because he opened a sealed box. The opening of the sealed box is disputed, the judge saying he didn’t and the police saying he did.
Thanks to everyone who showed up for the hearing. We should have a ruling on or after August 15, 2008.