Clark Co-Authors Domestic Spying Brief

Kathleen Clark, professor of law, helped write an amicus brief in the Center for Constitutional Rights’ client confidentiality lawsuit against the United States government. The brief was filed in the United States District Court, Southern District of New York on behalf of a group of law professors and other experts in legal ethics. The amicus brief supports a case filed by a group of lawyers who represent foreign nationals, detained at Guantanamo and considered “enemy combatants” by the United States government.

“The case involves attorneys who have sued the government over the National Security Agency’s domestic spying program,” Clark said. “The purpose of filing the amicus brief was to explain to the judge that these lawyers have ethical obligations that arise if they have reason to believe that the government is listening in on their conversations with clients and potential witnesses.”

Specifically, the brief notes: “The NSA program of electronic eavesdropping raises serious ethical issues for these lawyers, who have both an ethical obligation to communicate with their clients and other individuals concerning these cases and an ethical obligation to ensure the confidentiality of those communications. The criteria announced by government officials for targets of the NSA eavesdropping program are so open-ended that they would include many, if not all, of those clients, family members, and others these lawyers must contact.”

View Brief  in Adobe PDF.