Legal Ethics

D.C. Area Law Firm Sues Over Outsourced Legal Work, Alleges Privilege Issue

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Updated: Outsourcing legal work to India permits the U.S. government to intercept confidential documents, violating attorney-client privilege and the constitutional rights of those accused of wrongdoing, a Washington, D.C., area law firm contends in a federal lawsuit.

The government interception is possible because the National Security Agency is free to spy on foreign companies, due to a lack of constitutional restraints on the government’s overseas activities, according to a complaint (PDF) filed by Newman McIntosh & Hennessey earlier this month in federal district court in Washington, D.C.

The Bethesda, Md., firm has also written lengthy letters to District of Columbia (PDF) and Maryland (PDF) bar officials, seeking opinions on whether outsourcing arrangements violate constitutional protections and legal ethics rules.

“We are really heading toward a collision between globalized economic interests and the limited extension of constitutional rights,” name partner Joseph Hennessey tells the Blog of Legal Times.

Additional coverage:

Legal Times: “Law Firm Files Suit to Bar Outsourcing of Client Data”

Updated at 1:30 p.m., central time, on May 27, 2008, to include subsequent Legal Times coverage.

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