McGeorge School of Law

Schneider Recalls Katz Case

January 18, 2008

Retired Judge Harvey Schneider spoke on campus in mid-January about the Katz v. United States case that he argued successfully more than 40 years ago before the Supreme Court of the United States.

The court’s 1967 ruling in the Katz case extended Fourth Amendment protections from unreasonable searches and seizures, specifically protecting individuals in a public telephone booth from wiretapping without a warrant. The FBI had recorded conversations of a Los Angeles bookie calling associates in Miami and Boston. An appellate court had sided with the FBI, saying there was no physical intrusion. The Supreme Court ruling set precedent for future Fourth Amendment decisions that govern law enforcement investigations and electronic surveillance today. Schneider, who was in private practice and only three years out of law school, was co-counsel on the case. His January 15 on-campus appearance to a Criminal Procedure class came at the invitation of Professor Linda Carter.