Attorney-Client Communications

In the summer of 2016, the Kansas Federal Public Defender learned that the Kansas United States Attorney’s Office was in possession of video recordings of attorney-client meetings at CCA-Leavenworth, and audio recordings of attorney-client telephone calls from CCA.

On August 10, 2016, United States District Court Judge Julie Robinson issued an order impounding the recordings and directing all federal detention facilities in Kansas and Missouri to stop recording attorney-client communications in their facilities. This order was issued in the criminal case United States v. Black, et al, No. 16-20032-JAR. On August 16, 2016, United States Marshal Ronald L. Miller wrote to Judge Robinson to report that all detention facilities currently housing federal detainees charged in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas had complied with the court’s order (some claimed that they could not comply; federal detainees in those facilities were moved to other, compliant facilities).

Judge Robinson appointed a Special Master, on October 11, 2016, to perform a series of specific duties including identifying--and excising--privileged and confidential information disseminated by the government in the Black litigation. The Special Master has issued a number of Reports, outlining his progress and findings.

Below you will find relevant pleadings from the Black litigation, the reports of the Special Master, and recommended measures that defense counsel should take in order to protect the confidentiality of attorney-client communications.