MVA Attorneys co-author article in University of Southern California Review of Law & Social Justice Volume 33


Moore & Van Allen (MVA) Litigation Members Jim McLoughlin and Fielding Huseth and Litigation Associate Catherine Prater co-authored an article published in the University of Southern California Review of Law & Social Justice (Volume 33, Issue 1) titled, “Challenging Prosecutorial Use of a Pretrial Detainee’s Electronic Communications.”

Pretrial detention imposes several unreasonable burdens on a defendant's ability to prepare for trial. One such burden is that the prosecution often gains access—without a warrant—to the defendant's telephone calls because the pretrial detention facility often records and shares the calls with the prosecution. This practice may inhibit the defendant’s willingness and ability to speak freely to witnesses to prepare her defense. The unwitting defendant and her witnesses, meanwhile, may share critical trial strategies or disclose important information, which offers the prosecution a direct view into the defendant's strategy and evidence.

The article explores the legal theories used to justify the practice recording and sharing of the defendant’s calls.  It also examines the deficiencies—both statutory and constitutional—with this all-too-common practice and offers insights for practitioners who may wish to challenge the practice on behalf of their clients.  

To view the complete Winter, 2024 Volume 33, Issue 1 below.

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