A California appellate court recently ruled that courts can compel Google, by subpoena, to produce the emails of an account holder, where the account holder provided lawful consent to the disclosure.

In so doing, the court rejected Google’s argument that the Stored Communications Act (18 U.S.C. § 2702) gave Google a discretionary power to decline to produce the email that would trump the court’s subpoena power and the account holder’s consent. The court also rejected the account holder’s argument that “lawful consent” under the Stored Communications Act means “voluntary consent” and prohibits a court from compelling the account holder to consent to disclosure.

The decision vindicates the account holder’s right to access stored communications and the court’s authority to compel the disclosure of emails that an account holder had deleted. Read the entire opinion of the court (Negro vs. Navalimpianti USA, 10/21/14)

Joseph L. Raia, a shareholder in Gunster’s Miami office and co-chair of the firm’s international law practice was lead attorney for Navalimpianti USA in the matter. He was assisted by Michael B. Green, a business litigation associate in Gunster’s Miami office.

This important decision was covered by the following media:

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This publication is for general information only. It is not legal advice, and legal counsel should be contacted before any action is taken that might be influenced by this publication.

Gunster, Florida’s law firm for business, provides full-service legal counsel to leading organizations and individuals from its 11 offices statewide. Established in 1925, the firm has expanded, diversified and evolved, but always with a singular focus: Florida and its clients’ stake in it. A magnet for business-savvy attorneys who embrace collaboration for the greatest advantage of clients, Gunster’s growth has not been at the expense of personalized service but because of it. The firm serves clients from its offices in Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Stuart, Tallahassee, Tampa, The Florida Keys, Vero Beach and its headquarters in West Palm Beach. With more than 160 attorneys and 200 committed support staff, Gunster is ranked among the National Law Journal’s list of the 350 largest law firms. More information about its practice areas, offices and insider’s view newsletters is available at


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