Fourth Amendment Center

NACDL's Fourth Amendment Center offers direct assistance to defense lawyers handling cases involving new surveillance tools, technologies and tactics that infringe on the constitutional rights of people in America. The Center is available to help members of the defense bar in bringing new Fourth Amendment challenges.

           

 To request assistance or additional information, contact 4AC@nacdl.org.

 

About the Center Training and Webinars Reports and Publications Amicus Briefs Litigation Support

 

Launched in April 2018, the Fourth Amendment Center seeks to build a robust legal infrastructure to challenge outdated legal doctrines that undermine privacy rights in the digital age. To this end, the Center is available to provide litigation assistance in cases raising new Fourth Amendment concerns, including:

   

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Defense lawyers with cases involving any of these issues are encouraged to contact the Center. The Center is available to provide consultations and litigation resources as well as direct assistance in support of a defendant’s Fourth Amendment claims. Specifically, the Center may assist in motion practice, preparation for suppression hearings, appellate strategy, brief writing, and oral argument. The Center also provides group trainings for defense lawyers around the country and upon request.

 

Learn more about the Center's history and staff.

 


 

Featured

Read Now: NACDL's Comments of Executive Order 14074 on Advancing Effective, Accountable Policing and Criminal Justice Practices to Enhance Public Trust and Public Safety

The policing technologies at issue in the Executive Order, many of which the Center was done extensive work on,  create serious harms for individual criminal defendants, their lawyers, and the criminal legal system more broadly. In this comment, NACDL aims to highlight the serious dangers that these technologies pose and propose recommendations for mitigating those dangers.

 

Listen Now: Public Defenseless Podcast Series

Public Defenseless, with Hunter Parnell, produced a series on the Fourth Amendment and tech featuring staff from NACDL's  Fourth Amendment Center. Tune in for conversations on big data policing, facial recognition, digital general warrants, and the current state of the Fourth Amendment. 

 

Read Now: New resources from the Fourth Amendment Center

Check out our new resources: an ALPR primer, Face Recognition primer, and an advisory on defense use of Facial Recognition.  

 

Read Now: As crime-solving goes hi-tech, public defenders scramble to keep up

This profile of the Fourth Amendment Center spotlights the direct litigation assistance they offer to defense lawyers. Interviews with Center staff and some of the attorneys they've worked with help explain how the Center aims to level the playing feild and make their expertise available to defenders. 

 


 

Reports

   

Find the rest of our reports and primers here.

 


 

CLE Training and Webinar Library

 

Using Police Technologies to Uncover Law Enforcement Misconduct in Criminal Cases

Since 2017, the Baltimore Public Defender’s Office has called over 2,000 convictions into question related to police misconduct. In one instance, a Baltimore Police Department body-worn camera appeared to show an officer planting drugs at the scene of an arrest. As law enforcement agencies are increasingly using surveillance tools and forensic technologies to identify and arrest suspects in criminal investigations, defense attorneys are faced with the challenge of both defending their clients and holding police accountable for misconduct and abuse. How can criminal defense attorneys turn police technologies on police departments in criminal proceedings? 

This webinar from August 11, 2020 featured Debbie Levi, Director of Special Litigation with the Baltimore City Public Defender, and Ivan Bates, Managing Partner of Bates & Garcia, P.C.

Find the rest of the Center's webinars here.

 

Combatting the Surveillance State in Criminal Proceedings

This two-day CLE conference discussed the government's use of technologically advanced investigative techniques in criminal cases, and the issues raised by those techniques under the Fourth Amendment and other federal law.  

This CLE was co-sponsored by NACDL and the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology (BCLT), and held at International House, the University of California - Berkeley from November 29 to 30, 2018. 

All of the videos from the conference can be viewed here.

 


 

Amicus Briefs

 

NACDL provides amicus assistance on the federal and state level in those cases that present issues of importance to criminal defendants, criminal defense lawyers, and the criminal justice system as a whole. A selection of NACDL's amicus briefs that address the Fourth Amendment in the digital age are offered below. 

 

           State v. Jackson                             Jewel v. National Security Agency
       
        United States v. Henderson                  United States v. Ackerman        
          Dahda v. United States                           Byrd v. United States

 Read the rest of our amicus work here.

 


 

Litigation Support

 

Need help with a case?

 

The Center is available to provide consultations and litigation resources as well as direct assistance in support of a defendant’s Fourth Amendment claims. Specifically, the Center may assist in motion practice, preparation for suppression hearings, appellate strategy, brief writing, and oral argument. The Center also provides group trainings for defense lawyers around the country and upon request.

To request assistance or additional information, contact 4AC@nacdl.org.

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