Tuesday, February 10, 2009

SEC Must Give More Tailored Response To David Stockman's Discovery Requests

BNA's U.S. Law Week (77 U.S.L.W. 1468) is reporting on a recent discovery decision by Judge Shira Scheindlin:

The Securities and Exchange Commission's response to former Reagan administration budget director David Stockman's discovery requests in a securities fraud enforcement action was sorely deficient, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York held Jan. 13 (Securities and Exchange Commission v. Collins & Aikman Corp., S.D.N.Y., No. 07 Civ. 2419 (SAS), 1/13/09).

The decision addresses what Judge Shira A. Scheindlin called “important questions concerning the Government's discovery obligations in civil litigation.”

The agency's proffer of 10.6 million pages of unsorted documents to Stockman when its attorney had in fact already sorted the documents into about 175 files corresponding to allegations in the complaint was “patently inequitable,” and not shielded by the attorney work product doctrine, the court held. “The SEC's blanket refusal to negotiate a workable search protocol responsive to [certain other] requests is patently unreasonable,” she added. And the agency's “blanket refusal to produce any incoming or outgoing e-mails is unacceptable,” she found.

BNA subscribers can read the full article by clicking here.

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