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The Champion

June 2003 , Page 18 

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When the Government Seizes and Searches Your Client’s Computer

By Amy Baron-Evans

Without a proper understanding of the technology and its relationship to basic Fourth Amendment principles, however, a number of courts have approved computer searches that in the physical world would have been ruled unconstitutional general searches. Educating a judge in this area can be a real challenge, but judicial ignorance means the government wins.

Know the law and the technology

  As soon as possible after a subpoena or search warrant is served, hire a forensic computer examiner to educate you about the technology at issue. An expert will be indispensable in framing and justifying discovery requests, reconstructing the government’s search, and providing affidavits and testimony in support of a motion to suppress. An expert with substantial experience executing government search warrants can be particularly helpful in recognizing what the government’s examiner actually did and why it violated the Fourth Amendment.  

For a good start on the case law and a look at Depar

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