Representing Individuals in Matters Involving National Security
Created on July 11, 2016
Thorny issues can arise in representing clients who are of interest to the government for reasons related to national security. Such clients may receive requests from the FBI or other law enforcement agencies for voluntary interviews, which can have serious criminal or immigration-related consequences. Ensuring confidentiality in attorney-client communications can pose challenges where the clients may be under surveillance. Such clients may also be subjected to invasive searches during border crossings or other encounters with law enforcement officers.
Compounding the problems for these individuals-and for attorneys representing them-is the lack of an effective means for gathering information about the reasons for the government's interest in them and obtaining redress for any negative consequences of that interest, including the consequences of inclusion on a government watchlist. Despite these challenges, attorneys can provide valuable guidance and take practical steps to reduce the risk to their clients where national security concerns exist.
- Identify various contexts in which national security-related considerations may arise in matters other than criminal prosecutions
- Understand the risks to clients of taking specific courses of action
- Provide practical guidance for reducing those risks and advising clients in the face of uncertainty
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