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Does Outsourcing Lit Support to other Countries endanger Constitutional Protections?

Posted by rjbiii on June 19, 2008

K&L Gates has posted an article describing one law firm’s effort to obtain guidance on the issue whether transmitting data to foreign service providers waives fourth amendment protections with respect to that data.

The issues posed arising a scenario in which a service provider (in this case, Indian based Acumen Legal Services (India) Pvt., Ltd.) seeking to provide services to a law firm (Newman McIntosh & Hennessey, LLP of Bethesda, Maryland, “NMH”) is probably already providing services to attorneys who either compete with NMH or who represents interests that are adversarial to NMH’s clients. The questions posed in the complaint were whether:

1) its own electronic transmission of client data will affect a waiver of Fourth
Amendment protections to that data,
2) John Doe Esq. or Jane Doe, Esq.’s electronic transmission of non-client
data (such as data produced to John Doe, Esq. and Jane Doe, Esq. during civil discovery)
will waive Fourth Amendment protections to such data,
3) NMH, John Doe, Esq., and Jane Doe, Esq. are required to obtain prior
consent of the owner of such data prior to electronically transmitting it to a foreign
national residing overseas,
4) LPOs, such as Acumen, have an obligation to disclose the likelihood of
Fourth Amendment waiver with respect to data that is electronically transmitted to
foreign nationals residing overseas, and
5) President Bush has an obligation to establish intelligence gathering
protocols for the purpose of safeguarding Fourth Amendment rights with respect to
attorney communications to and from foreign nationals residing overseas.

K&L’s post has a link to the complaint, for those interested. Although this particular case applies to criminal cases, decisions here will affect all types of cases in a myriad of ways. One concerned Outsourcing company has posted its opinion on the matter.

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