CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Monday, May 29, 2017

Joy & Uphoff on Counselling Clients about Physical Evidence

Peter A. Joy and Rodney J. Uphoff (Washington University in St. Louis - School of Law and University of Missouri School of Law) have posted ‘What Do I Do with the Porn on My Computer?’: How a Lawyer Should Counsel Clients about Physical Evidence (54 American Criminal Law Review 751 (2017)) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

This Article critically analyzes the legal and ethical limits of advice a lawyer may give clients about evidence of crimes, and provides examples of that advice in a number of situations involving clients with questions about what they should do with real and electronic evidence. When criminal charges have not been brought and are not expected, how much latitude does a lawyer have in giving advice to a client? When may a lawyer counsel a client to destroy contraband or other evidence of a crime? When a lawyer may not counsel destruction, is a lawyer legally and ethically permitted to discuss the law and an assessment of the risks and possible legal consequences of destroying the contraband or other evidence of crimes?

This Article also fills the void in the legal ethics and criminal law literature on how to be both an ethical and an effective lawyer when a client seeks straightforward advice about handling contraband or other evidence of possible crimes.

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