On Demand Audio

An Examination of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (“FISA”): Past, Present, and Future

(625 reviews)

Produced on June 23, 2020

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$ 89 Administrative and Election Year 2020 In Stock
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Course Information

Time 1h 1m
Difficulty Intermediate
Topics covered in this course: Administrative Election Year 2020

Course Description

This course, presented by seasoned practitioner Joshua Dratel, will offer a primer and practical guidance on the federal Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (“FISA”). Though FISA was initially designed for espionage investigations, it became a principal tool for counterterrorism and surveillance after 9/11. There is currently a line of cases challenging specific FISA programs that are percolating through the federal courts. Mr. Dratel will offer a thorough examination of current FISA trends and litigation, and provide practitioners not only with detailed navigation of FISA’s structure and programs but also with ideas and examples of how to challenge evidence acquired via FISA. Lastly, the course will also address the developing political climate for FISA – a climate that has experienced ebbs and flows since 9/11.

Learning objectives:

I. Review FISA’s background, history, provisions, and mechanics

II. Examine FISA case law fundamentals & trending legal issues in the courts

III. Discuss recent FISA reforms 

IV. Identify current FISA controversies 

V. Provide tips for practitioners challenging FISA-acquired evidence

Credit Information

After completing this course, Lawline will report your attendance information to {{ accredMasterState.state.name }}. Please ensure your license number is filled out in your profile to ensure timely reporting. For more information, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements page . After completing this course, {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} attorneys self-report their attendance and CLE compliance. For more information on how to report your CLE courses, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements FAQ .


Joshua Dratel

Law Offices of Joshua L. Dratel, P.C.

Joshua L. Dratel is an attorney in New York City, and practices criminal defense law in the state and federal courts nationwide. In his 32 years as a lawyer, his practice has included a wide range of matters, including “white collar,” “organized crime,” national security, extradition, drugs, sex offenses, and capital cases. He has testified as an expert witness on four occasions in extradition matters in the United Kingdom and Canada, and served as an expert in extradition matters in those jurisdictions in writing in several other cases.

He is a past President of the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (2005), as well as former Chair of its Amicus Curiae Committee. He is also a Co-Chair of the Amicus Curiae Committee of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Chair of its National Security Committee, and a former member of its Board of Directors and Public Affairs Council. He serves as NACDL’s delegate to the American Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section Council, and serves on the Advisory Board of The Champion, NACDL’s monthly magazine. In addition, he is currently a Senior Fellow for Legal Research at the Fordham School of Law’s Center on National Security. Since 1988 he has been a member of the Criminal Justice Act panel in the Southern District of New York, and he is also a member of the Southern District of New York’s capital representation panel.

He was co-author of the 2003 Supplement of Practice Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, and his articles on a variety of criminal law subjects have appeared in The Champion, The Mouthpiece, and Criminal Justice Weekly. He is co-editor with Karen J. Greenberg of The Torture Papers: The Legal Road to Abu Ghraib (Cambridge University Press: 2005), a compendium of government memoranda, and The Enemy Combatant Papers: American Justice, the Courts, and the War on Terror (Cambridge Press: 2008), a digest of the litigation documents in the five most important enemy combatant cases.

He has lectured nationally on a variety of criminal law subjects for a variety of organizations, including NACDL, NYSACDL, the ABA, and U.S. Administrative Office of the Courts. In 2006, he was the recipient of NACDL’s Robert C. Heeney Award, that organization’s highest honor. In 2007, along with other lawyers representing Guantanamo Bay detainees, he was a recipient of the Frederick Douglass Human Rights Award from the Southern Center for Human Rights. In 2011, he received the Honorable Robert Louis Cohen Award for Excellence in the Practice of Criminal Law from the New York Criminal Bar Association. He is a 1978 Magna Cum Laude graduate of Columbia College, and a 1981 graduate of Harvard Law School.



Patrick P.

Great professor!

Thom G.

Very knowledgeable. Enlightening.

K H.

Joshua Dratel is an excellent speaker


awesome and timely presentation

Penny W.

An excellent presentation which addressed issues clearly and succinctly.

Janice S.

Very interesting and timely.

Derek P.

Brilliant, useful, timely and important presentation by Josh Dratel. The best course I’ve had in years. Please bring Mr. Dratel back for more.

Russell B.

Excellent course and highly qualified Presenter.

susan g.

very knowledgeable speaker

Patrick K.

a bit specialist but would recommend if active ir contemplating this area

George A.

Excellent presentation

Linda B.

Fascinating topic. Excellent presenter.

John B.

Very Interesting

Cathleen W.

Interesting presentation, especially in light of recent news stories about FISA.

David B. A.


Karen L.

This was relevant and comprehensively covered.

Tom D.

Excellent presentation.

Rosanne F.

Excellent program

Chun L.

Very informative - thank you. Would be great to have any additional insight or commentary on how FISA has impacted EU privacy laws - i.e., the recent EU decision invalidating Privacy Shield.

David T.

Very knowledgable presenter with direct practice experience in a unique area of law.

Paul F. C.

He must have the ptaience of a saint to deal with this extent of government overreaching

eugene b.

I do not practice in this area but I greatly appreciate the lessons from FISA practice for my own civil niche.

Damon C.

very informative

Lauren L.

Such an interesting topic!

Anthony S.

Good introductory to FISA


I was interested because of the recent fisa controversy

Robin B.

elucidated complex ethical and legal issues well.

Fred L.

Very well presesented by an experienced attorney in the FISA field

John G.

Very thoughtful

Dwight S.

One of the best you have provided!

Maxwell Z.


Catherine H.

thanks for a great program, great presenter who clearly knew his subject matter and had a really nice conversational presentation manner; very interesting, thanks again

Timothy B.

Great overview!

Mark H.

Valuable presentation on an important subject.

Andrew W.

Very thorough.

Jason O.


Charles S.

Great job.

Tucker C.

Probably the best presentation of any CLE I have attended.

Elise M.

Very informative, and a hot topic right now. Most interesting that it has not been reauthorized as of today.

Lauren P.

Very interesting

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