Monday, November 21, 2005

No Privilege Log, No Privilege Holds D. Conn. Judge

A federal judge in Connecticut (Breon v. Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of New England, --- F.R.D. ----, 2005 WL 3071501 (D. Conn. November 04, 2005)) has held that the defendant's failure to produce a privilege log explaining the basis for refusing to produce documents resulted in the privilege claim being waived and rendered the documents discoverable:

Defendant has provided the court with no privilege log. However, in its response to plaintiff's requests for production defendant did provide a skeletal argument outlining the documents it claims are privileged, including titles, dates and the names of authors and recipients. The court cannot, however, conclude that either the attorney-client privilege or work-product immunity applies on the basis of such little information. Having failed to provide adequate information for such a determination, the defendant has not perfected its claim of privilege. Since the documents are not privileged, they are discoverable. Therefore, the defendant is ordered to provide plaintiff's counsel with the documents requested in production requests 1, 3-6, 10, 14 and 18-20.

The opinion is also useful because it provides more general pointers regarding asserting claims of privilege and work-product protection during disovery.


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