Kansas City Office
117 S.W. 6th Street
Topeka, Kansas 66603
201 US Courthouse
500 State Avenue
Kansas City, Kansas 66101
850 Epic Center
301 N. Main
Wichita, Kansas 67202
The Office of the Federal Public Defender for the District of Kansas is pleased to introduce Third Chair, a 2017 summer criminal-defense clinic for law students who are interested in public service. Our goal is to develop diversity in the field and to provide first-hand experience in public defense.
Click here for a full description of the program, and here for an application.
Calendar of Events
Listen here, or subscribe on iTunes, to Just In Case, the twice-monthly podcast of criminal-law cases just in from the United States Supreme Court, the Tenth Circuit, and the Kansas Appellate Courts. Hosted by Research & Writing Specialist Paige Nichols.
Issues Pending in the Tenth Circuit as of
November 21, 2016
Search this document to learn what issues are currently pending on appeal in the Tenth Circuit.
The Federal Public Defender for the District of Kansas is accepting applications for a Research and Writing Specialist.
Attorney-Client Confidentiality at Federal Detention Centers
"You bugged a conversation between a lawyer and his client. Now that’s violating one of the most sacred rights of privacy."
—Andy Griffith to Opie.
In the summer of 2016, the federal criminal-defense bar 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. Click here for links to Judge Robinson’s order and related documents (use the bookmarks or Doc. links).
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).
In light of what we have learned from this litigation, we recommend the following measures to protect the confidentiality of your attorney-client communications:
Calls from client cells or pods or other common areas to a law office. Assume that you must affirmatively opt out of recording to protect calls to your office’s phone number, your cellphone number, and any other number at which you take calls from clients. Click here for a sample opt-out letter. Otherwise, these calls will be recorded. Please note that some attorneys have in the past opted out and yet their calls were still recorded. Proceed at your own risk.
Calls to or from a counselor’s office. Assume that all calls to or from a counselor’s office may well be recorded, and are, at the very least, monitored by the counselor (and therefore any right to confidentiality in at least the client’s end of the calls may be deemed waived). Again, proceed at your own risk.
Visits with clients. According to the Marshal and Judge Robinson, all federal detention facilities housing federal defendants charged in Kansas have either removed cameras from their visitation areas (CCA) or have arranged to shroud any cameras during attorney-client visits (unknown). It might be wise to request shrouding of any cameras as a routine part of setting up an attorney-client visit. Please note that at least one jail has responded to Judge Robinson’s order by reducing its available space for contact visits. Your client has a right to contact visits with counsel absent a specific security risk. Contact us for a sample motion to restore or assert this right.