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NCJ Number: 120110 Find in a Library
Title: Dirty Money
Journal: ABA (American Bar Association) Journal  Volume:75  Dated:(November 1989)  Pages:60-65
Author(s): R L Fricker
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 6
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Based on U.S. Supreme Court decisions, courts are seizing attorney fees as part of drug forfeiture actions. Many defense attorneys believe this violates the attorney-client privilege and defendants' right to counsel.
Abstract: In U.S. v. Monsanto, and Caplin and Drysdale v. U.S., the U.S. Supreme Court held that the government can seize and freeze a defendant's assets in a drug or racketeering case, even if those funds were to be used for retaining legal counsel. This has led in many cases to the subpoenaing of attorneys' records in an effort to determine the fact and the source of any legal fees paid by the defendant. Defense attorneys claim this violates the attorney-client privilege and puts drug defendants at a disadvantage in securing counsel. As a result of the court rulings and prosecutorial actions, many criminal defense attorneys refuse to take drug cases. The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is calling for the appointment of a National Task Force on the Preservation of the Adversary System to lessen the impact of attorney-fee decisions. Another task force would lobby Congress and State legislatures to amend forfeiture laws so they are consistent with sixth amendment rights. The association has also requested meetings with the Justice Department to develop clearer forfeiture guidelines.
Main Term(s): Drug forfeiture
Index Term(s): Drug law offenses; Legal fees
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