News and Events

Kramon & Graham wins important case in Fourth Circuit

James P. Ulwick
Steve Klepper
Louis P. Malick

In a major victory for a law firm client, Kramon & Graham trial attorney James P. Ulwick prevailed in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in challenging the appropriateness of a “filter team” of the U.S. Attorney’s Office to review files and emails confiscated earlier this year from the client's office. Tens of thousands of unrelated electronic files were seized by DEA and IRS agents in the raid.

”If clients and their lawyers believe that prosecutors may one day sift through their communications in searches involving unrelated matters, clients are less likely to be candid with their lawyers, and lawyers will hesitate before writing down what they need to write down,” Jim argued in his appeal. “This is unfair to clients, and harms the attorney-client relationship. This case involves a gross violation of these principles.”

The Fourth Circuit agreed with Jim, summarily reversing the District Court only two days after argument. The Court’s order granted all the relief requested by Jim on behalf of his client. The Court's published opinion appears here.

The case was widely reported by news and legal media outlets, including, most recently, Law360's Judge Wrong To Let IRS Seize Law Firm's Files, 4th Circ. Says, (October 31, 2019) and the Baltimore Sun in Appeals court orders feds to halt review, hand over emails of Baltimore lawyers under investigation and the Daily Record in 4th Circuit orders magistrate, not feds, to review materials seized from law firm, both articles are dated September 13, 2019.

Jim was assisted by Kramon & Graham attorneys Steven M. Klepper and Louis P. Malick.