Sat, Jun. 11, 2005

Seizing Client Data From Lawyers

CK - Washington.   In the course of a criminal investigation, the police may not search and seize all the data-storing equipment of a suspect, the German Federal Constitution Court in Karlsruhe decided on April 12, 2005, according to its press release 47/2005 of June 8, 2005.

The decision requires the state to carefully balance the impact of searches and seizures against constitution rights, it explained in the matter 2 BvR 1027/02.

In its ruling, the court expressed particular concern with the fact that the state had taken all the data storage equipment from a law and tax consulting firm and failed to limit the search and seizure to items of import to the investigation. The court acknowledged the particular sensitivity required to safeguarding data of a legally protected nature where an enhanced expectation of protection is warranted under laws governing professional relationships.


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