On Saturday, November 8, attorney James P. Whalen made his monthly appearance on radio show Ask the Experts and spoke about a wide variety of topics.

As usual, he delved into the nuances and differences of federal and state cases, but he also spent some time offering his thoughts on several recent news stories that will have an impact on the legal profession and how cases are tried.

James P. Whalen on Current Events

Mr. Whalen went into detail on three current events that he said he thought would be of particular interest to the listening audience.

New iPhone encryption. In the past few weeks, a firestorm has erupted as the FBI director blasted Apple and other tech companies for making encryption on their newest devices so strong that law enforcement officials can’t break into phones and other devices, and even the companies themselves can’t get the information.

The director is calling it a “public safety problem” and even recently spoke in front of Congress to convince them to change laws and allow law enforcement access to online communication, like our Facebook messages, but the flipside of that is a question about where this invasion of our privacy ends.

Mr. Whalen asks about what safeguards will be put in place to protect the public and whether the Supreme Court will need to get involved.

Hotel records. A lot of people don’t even know this, but in 70 cities across the country, there are laws on the books that force hotel owners to turn over their registries if law enforcement officials come looking for them. Hotel owners can even be held criminally liable for withholding information if they refuse to hand it over.

But right now there’s a court case going on where some hotels are fighting back against this practice, and the 9th Circuit in California even agreed that the law was unconstitutional.  If this ruling holds up and other cities around the country change these laws, it will change how cases are prosecuted.

Ineffective counsel. Until very recently, U.S. attorneys have been able to require defendants to waive their right to retry cases due to ineffective counsel. Essentially, this meant that even if someone lost a trial because their attorney didn’t do his or her job, they weren’t allowed to fight the decision.

But right as Eric Holder resigned, he released a statement saying that U.S. attorneys could no longer require defendants to waive this right. Clients should know about the change in policy and new attorneys should know that they shouldn’t agree to waive their client’s ability to do this now that it isn’t required.

To hear the rest of Texas criminal defense attorney James P. Whalen’s radio appearance, download it here or use the player below:

And if you’re in the Frisco area and need help with criminal charges, don’t hesitate to give our firm a call.