Government Ordered Not to Review Defendant’s Privileged Electronic Documents
2004 WL 635065 (N.D. Ill. 2004)
The government seized two hundred boxes of the defendant’s documents and a significant amount of the defendant’s electronic information, including several personal computers, and back-up tapes of the defendant’s payroll, fax, and accounting servers. The defendant moved for a return of all privileged information that was seized and to bar the government from using this information for any purpose. The motion was initially granted, but the court subsequently granted the Government’s motion to reconsider.
The court also ordered the defendant to create a privilege log. The defendant gave the court a privilege log containing 13,000 privileged communications. The defendants claimed that the government had reviewed privileged communications because it failed to use proper screening techniques. The defendant stated that the government could have screened the communications and separated out the privileged information by using commercial software or a third party. Furthermore, the defendant also pointed out that the Government did not follow Department of Justice guidelines for searching seized materials.
The court stated that for the defendant’s due process to have been violated, the government’s violation of the defendant’s attorney client privilege must shock the court’s conscience. The court laid out a three-part test to determine whether something “shocks its conscience” – (1) the government must have knowledge of the attorney client privilege, (2) the government must make a deliberate intrusion into that relationship, and (3) there must be actual and substantial prejudice.
The court held that although the government’s actions should not be condoned, they did not rise to a level that shocked the court, and therefore did not violate the defendant’s due process rights and therefore did not warrant the suppression of evidence that the plaintiff was seeking. The court did however, order the government not to review documents from the privilege log or to present any of the documents from the privilege log without a court determination that those documents were not privileged.
- 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]