A second judge has denied a motion to restrain federal prosecutors from reading the emails of jail inmates to their attorneys.
The Eastern District U.S. Attorney’s Office has decided to stop using “taint teams” who filter out attorney-client emails transmitted on a Bureau of Prisons site before prosecutors get the emails.
In U.S. v. Walia, 14-cr-213, Eastern District Judge Margo Brodie (See Profile) said Friday that while she “may not agree with the position of the United States Attorney’s Office,” she had “no legal basis to find that the fundamental right of access to effective assistance of counsel established in Gideon v. Wainwright, 372 U.S. 335 (1963), is compromised by the review of communication that both defendant and his counsel knew to be monitored and thus not privileged.”
Brodie said drug trafficking defendant Tushar Walia had methods of unmonitored communication “and although they may be burdensome, they do provide defendant with access to his counsel.”
Walia’s attorneys recommended a solution whereby inmates get a general TRULINCS account and one solely for attorney correspondence.
Brodie said the proposal seemed reasonable, but noted non-party Bureau of Prisons was the appropriate agency to consider the recommendation.
Walia is represented by Len Kamdang and Amanda David of the Federal Defenders of New York. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael Robotti and Nadia Moore appeared for the prosecution.