A Party Who Voluntarily Discloses an Email Message Cannot Claim Attorney-Client Privilege When Refusing to Turn Over Other Emails Regarding the Same Subject
222 F.R.D. 29 (Mass. 2004)
Investors who held equity in the software firm Lernout & Hauspie brought a class action suit for securities fraud against the software firm as well as its accounting firm, KPMG. One of the issues in dispute was whether emails sent from an audit partner at KPMG to his legal counsel were protected by attorney-client privilege. The accounting firm had received anonymous calls from a sales rep that worked for Lernout & Hauspie. The sales rep did not identify the firm he worked for to the audit partner. The sales rep asked a partner in the audit department about certain sales procedures that the software firm had been engaging in, and whether they were illegal. The partner at the accounting firm told him that the procedures were indeed illegal.
The sales rep did not reveal his identity, but rather gave the partner clues as to who his employer was. In response to the conversations that the partner had with the client company’s sales rep, the partner contacted the accounting firm’s legal counsel via email to seek advice. In all, there were 15 emails that discussed the situation. In discovery, one of the emails was accidentally released by KPMG to the class plaintiffs. The class plaintiffs requested the rest of the emails during discovery, and KPMG claimed that they were protected by attorney-client privilege.
The court ruled that the “accidental” disclosure of the first email acted as a waiver of the attorney-client privilege with respect to that email and all others relating to the same subject.
- Staff Recognized for Departing Employee Investigations - The first issue of Corporate Counsel Business Journal, CCBJ, includes an interview with our Director of Digital Forensics, Yaniv Schiff, and Solutions Architect, Curtis Collette, on the evolution of departing employee investigations. Departing Employee: When Do Investigations Become Necessary? appeared in the print publication, online edition, and on CCBJ’s In-House Tech website. For Increasing Numbers of Employers, Departing Employee Investigations[...Read More]
- Chicago Office Food Drive – The Results Are In - QDiscovery’s Chicago Office collected nearly 1,000 containers of food for the local food bank this Holiday Season! Our office competed with sister offices in Indiana and Connecticut. Alas, we came in third. Our sister offices each collected nearly 2,000 containers for their local food banks. Relatively new to the company-wide food drive, the Forensics Division[...Read More]
- QDiscovery Forensics Team Develops Award Winning App! - QDiscovery is winner of a 2017 Relativity Innovation Award. Presented at Relativity Fest, the award celebrates organizations that create apps or integrations that extend the functionality of Relativity’s eDiscovery software. Our development team created an application that makes the analysis of mobile collections much more manageable. Relativity users can now produce and review mobile device data[...Read More]
- Moving and Changing - Acquired by Connecticut-based QDiscovery in 2016, Forensicon’s capabilities multiplied overnight, both in forensics brain power and eDiscovery expertise. As part of a leading provider of end to end litigation support, moving to larger offices that are more central to the Chicago legal community was inevitable.
- QDiscovery Named One of the Top 20 Providers of Legal Services! - Leading industry publication, CIO Magazine, has named Forensicon’s parent company, QDiscovery, to it’s Top 20 Providers of Legal Services. The annual listing includes 20 companies that are at the forefront of providing legal solutions and impacting the marketplace. Read the whole article here. Featured in the publication alongside QDiscovery President, Dave Barrett, is Director of Digital Forensics, Yaniv[...Read More]