Lawyers, Laptops, and the Border


It has been a long, but successful overseas trip to meet with a client. Though tired, you check your email as you wait in line at U.S. Customs. Finally, your turn arrives for customs inspection, and the official pulls you aside for a more thorough search. After searching your luggage, the customs official asks for your email device and asks that you turn on your computer and enter your password. Your email device contains hundreds of communications with clients, and your computer contains not only your own work product, but also records of many communications with clients. What do you do?

Published by permission of Texas Bar Journal Legislative Update, Vol. 72, No. 8, September 2009.

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