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Search & Seizure Commentary

By Marc S. Raspanti and Douglas E. Roberts

Read more Search & Seizure Commentary columns.

Search Warrant Execution: Keeping the Wolves at Bay

One of the most stressful events that any entity can face is the unannounced execution of a search warrant by federal and/or state law enforcement agents. If the situation is not handled with cool-headed competence, it can wreak lasting havoc on any business, from a one-physician medical practice to a multi-national corporation.

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution constrains the government’s ability to obtain and execute search warrants. Of course, those “search and seizure” issues are not ripe for litigation until after agents have stormed the office and taken what they wanted.1 

But in every instance, knowledgeable attorneys can minimize the impact of a search warrant by ensuring that a client (in the case of outside counsel) or a company (in the case of in-house counsel) is prepared for the disruption and agitation that the execution of a warrant invariably causes. Agents executing a warrant not on

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