Attorney-Client Privilege

50 Lawyers Pack Court to Support Solo Whose Office Was Searched

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Lawyers in Texas upset about a judge-authorized search of a solo practitioner who is representing an alleged contract killer filed into a Collin County court last week in a show of support for lawyer Keith Gore.

In February, with the OK of 401st District Judge Mark Rusch, Texas Rangers and local police searched Gore’s McKinney office purportedly to look for evidence in the case against Mark Lyle Bell, Texas Lawyer reports in a detailed story about the controversy.

Now, dueling motions to recuse Judge Rusch because he’s seen too much and Gore because he’s a fact witness are now muddying the case.

Among those present at the Aug. 5 hearing was Rick Hagen, president of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, which has filed an amicus brief in the case.

“It’s a tremendous concern regarding the government’s ability to raid a lawyer’s office,” he says. “And you’ve got to understand this is not a case where Keith Gore is accused of any wrongdoing whatsoever.”

Prosecutors, however, maintain that Gore had evidence in his office, and the search was legit.

“It was the last resort. We were concerned that the items would be destroyed or would be further concealed,” Texas Lawyer quotes Greg Davis, Collin County’s first assistant district attorney, as saying.

The judge hearing the recusal motion is expected to rule sometime after Aug. 15.

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