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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
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    3

    Default What Should a Lawyer Do When a Client Claims a Recording Was Altered

    My question relates to legal practice in the state of: Arizona
    Client had been interviewed twice by detectives, client feels something is missing upon reviewing the taped interview. Client tells attorney and client feels attorney thinks that client is mistaken or not being truthful. So client has the C.D. analyzed for edits, no edits had been disclosed. CD was found to have been edited by a break in the back ground noise which is graphed and results are given with the proper documents for "chain of custody". Is this a big deal?? Client really thought so but attorney ignored the whole issue stating that it did not matter if detectives tampered with the CD which was evidence. What should a client do in such an event? I do believe that all taped interviews should be analyzed. Any input? Thank you for your time.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    7,433

    Default Re: Attorney Fails to Act on Your Behalf

    Client (which I am assuming is you) thinks that something is missing. What exactly is thought missing? Is that missing material something that would actually matter? It may be the recording was edited or that it was simply stopped and restarted during the interview; a break in the recording does not tell you which it is. But it matters what was said (if anything) during the time that is not included with the recording. Unless the missing material alters the meaning of any portion of the interview that is sought to be admitted against the client it is not likely a big deal. That missing part won’t automatically make the entire recording inadmissible after all. And hopefully the client was smart enough not to say anything damaging to himself in those interviews to begin with such that the interviews might not be worth it for the state to use at all.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Behind a Desk
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    98,846

    Default Re: Does a Lawyer Have a Duty to Forensically Examine All Recordings

    Quote Quoting prerry
    View Post
    Is this a big deal?
    We are not in a position to know if in fact a break exists, let alone whether the allegedly omitted materials have any relevance to the case, and thus are not in a position to comment on whether or not it's a "big deal".
    Quote Quoting prerry
    Client really thought so but attorney ignored the whole issue stating that it did not matter if detectives tampered with the CD which was evidence.
    I doubt that the attorney thought it was "no big deal" that a recording was altered -- more likely, the lawyer didn't believe the recording was altered.
    Quote Quoting prerry
    What should a client do in such an event?
    The lawyer can offer to pay for a qualified forensic expert to examine the tape and, if appropriate, to pay the expert to testify at a hearing or trial about the alleged alteration.
    Quote Quoting prerry
    I do believe that all taped interviews should be analyzed.
    The client is free to pay for forensic examination of all recordings. If the client is willing to pay, there's no reason why the lawyer couldn't help find an appropriate expert. But it isn't free.

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