June 19 – 22, 2017 | Location Santa Fe, NM | Tuition $1,395 | Conference Fee $399 What’s this?

When is a search or seizure justified? Who has standing to challenge? When is a warrant needed? If the amendment is violated, does the exclusionary rule apply? This course answers these questions and others through the examination of U.S. Supreme Court decisions. Along with computers and digital evidence, the course examines consent searches, warrant execution issues, and searches without warrants, including exigent circumstances, community caretaking, inventory searches, automobile searches, frisks, and searches incident to arrest.


Why should I take this course?

The Fourth Amendment is the most implicated constitutional protection. It is also the most litigated. Accordingly, judges frequently have to rule on objections and motions concerning the Fourth Amendment. What is a search? When does a seizure occur? What are the types of searches and seizures? What interests are protected by the Amendment? Who has standing to challenge the intrusion? When is a search or seizure justified? When do the police need a warrant? If the Fourth Amendment has been violated, does the exclusionary rule apply?

The four-day course offers insights on motion hearings practice, examines the principles related to consent searches, and contains sessions on warrant issuance and review of that decision, warrant execution issues, and searches without warrants. These latter searches include exigent circumstances, community caretaking, inventory searches, and automobile searches. The course also discusses frisks and searches incident to arrest. Finally, the course offers an overview of developing principles related to computers and digital evidence.

What will I learn?

During this course, you will learn to:

  • Describe limitations on protected interests including open fields, assumption of risk, voluntary disclosure and abandoned property.
  • Articulate the Supreme Court’s framework to address standing.
  • Identify the present scope of Fourth Amendment protection in areas around residences and businesses.
  • Describe the lower burden on the government to prove consent to search was voluntary under the Fourth Amendment compared to the government’s burden to prove “waiver” and voluntary relinquishment of rights under the Fifth and Sixth Amendments.
  • Determine when a seizure occurs within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment.
  • Identify the Terry v. Ohio frisk, plain view and plain feel, protective sweeps, exigent circumstances, and inventory exceptions to the search warrant requirement.
  • Determine the applicability of the Fourth Amendment to automobile searches.
  • Summarize the “knock and announce” rule and identify the limits of detaining a person during the execution of a search warrant.
  • Summarize the elements of a valid search warrant.
  • Define when to hold motion hearings and rule on standing issues with greater accuracy.
  • Summarize the exclusionary rule; define the “fruit of the poisonous tree” doctrine; describe when the “attenuation of the taint” doctrine applies; identify when the “independent source” doctrine applies; describe the “inevitable discovery” rule; identify the applicability of “good faith” in the area of inevitable discovery; and summarize the “impeachment” exception to the exclusionary rule.
  • Describe the two different ways that appellate courts analyze computers (as containers or as “special approach”).
  • Analyze whether the amount of intermingled documents should change the analysis in allowing a computer search or seizure or not.

Who should attend?

The course is valuable to both beginning and experienced judges.

Who are the members of the faculty?

Professor Thomas Clancy is the author of two editions of The Fourth Amendment: Its History and Interpretation, a treatise that explores the myriad of issues involved in Fourth Amendment litigation. He is joined by judges Ilona Holmes (Florida circuit court), Mark McGinnis (Wisconsin circuit court), and Roderick Kennedy (New Mexico Court of Appeals, Ret.). The faculty team has educated hundreds of judges, both trial and appellate.

How is this course taught?

A variety of teaching techniques including lectures, case studies, large and small group discussions, and polling questions. The course is an excellent mix of the theoretical and practical.

What should I tell my presiding judge or funding agency so that my attendance will be approved?

Ruling incorrectly on a search or seizure matter can result in having to retry a case. The Fourth Amendment is one of the most litigated and most technically difficult areas of the law. To avoid wasting scarce judicial resources, all judges can benefit from participation in the course.

Whom should I contact for more information?

For more information, please contact the Registrar’s Office at (800) 255-8343 or registrar@judges.org.

Inn & Spa at Loretto

The hotel for this course will be the Inn and Spa at Loretto. Revered as the #3 city for museums and art galleries by Travel + Leisure, and a “Top 10 International City for Art” by Reuters.com, Santa Fe, New Mexico boasts more than 300 art galleries and 13 museums, as well as an extensive community of artist studios and world-renowned institutions. From traditional Native American art and sculpture to local emerging artists and international masters, travelers and locals alike enjoy the city’s vibrant, year-round art scene.

The group room rate is $149 per night (plus applicable fees and taxes; currently 15.3%) for single or double occupancy. This special rate will be available until May 29, 2017, unless our room block is filled earlier. Please contact our Registrar’s Office with any questions.

Make your reservation by calling (866) 582-1646 and referencing “The National Judicial College: Group Code 10K9S7″.

This course qualifies for 2 credits toward the Master of Judicial Studies Degree Program and Judicial Studies Doctoral Program at the University of Nevada, Reno upon successful completion of the course and passing the course exam. In addition, this course qualifies for The National Judicial College Certificate in Judicial Development program Appellate Judicial Skills, General Jurisdiction Trial Skills and Special Court Trial Skills disciplines.