Thursday, February 09, 2006

Log This

If only you had a nickel for everytime you got a worthless privilege log (not the actual privilege log of course, because then you’d really be in the poorhouse given the number of litigants that never supply one). Well, this time, Judge Dominic J. Squatrito (D. Conn.) is calling the producing party to the carpet in the Priceline securities class action, finding that “the bases for defendants' privilege and work product objections are, in some cases, complex, and defendants must elaborate upon why these documents deserve protection.”

Indeed, “many of the documents listed in the privilege log were sent to several persons outside of Priceline-such as attorneys from multiple law firms and persons from other business firms, such as WebHouse. Plaintiffs justifiably express the concern that the information within the documents listed may not be privileged because it may have been revealed to persons outside the attorney-client zone of protection.” “Likewise, defendants must attempt to explain how documents it claims are immune from discovery pursuant to the work product doctrine were created in anticipation of litigation,” and “should also identify documents, or portions thereof, that qualify as opinion work product, and are therefore eligible for heightened protection.”

Shouldn’t everyone just do this in the first place? Like this one, for example? Yeah, right.

You can read In re Priceline, issued December 8, 2005, here or at 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33635.

Nugget: “Defendants shoulder the burden of demonstrating that information is protected by the attorney-client privilege or the work product immunity doctrine, and must therefore supplement their privilege log to provide information necessary to make an informed determination of the validity of their objections.”

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