Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Norbert Ehrenfreund ruled that the evidence sought by the Bar was not part of the official court record and had been gathered illegally by police officers who arrested attorney Pete Harned in 1996.
“The court recognizes the importance to society of the State Bar’s role in disciplining attorney malfeasance,” Ehrenfreund held in a case believed to be one of first impression. “But such considerations are far outweighed by the constitutional demands of the Fourth Amendment and the need to deter egregious police conduct.”
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