On March 24, 2021, SFL partner Alexander Fischer spoke at a virtual panel webinar titled Privacy at Risk: Searches of Electronic Devices at Ports and Beyond. The event was hosted by the International Law Section of the American Bar Association and had a record-breaking 340 attendees. The webinar consisted of international attorneys said focused discussing the background of search and seizure laws in their respective countries, as well as policies and procedures from customs officials. Specifically, Alexander discussed a recent case decided by the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit which directly addressed the question of how far customs officials can go when searching electronic devices at the Border.
Further, the panel discussed the ethical implications for attorneys who may cross borders and likely have attorney-client privileged information in their electronic devices. While the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct do not specifically adress the issue, several discuss communicating with clients if privileged information is disclosed.
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