Argument That Plaintiff’s Counsel Misrepresented Return of Privileged Memo Unavailing; Defendant’s Own Actions Waived Privilege

Defendant J-M Manufacturing Company, Inc. moved to vacate the Recommendation of the Special Master finding that J-M waived privilege. In so doing, the defendant argued the Special Master erroneously applied New York law instead of California law in determining that the defendant waived the attorney-client privilege attached to the redacted and unredacted versions of a 1983 memo from the defendant’s in-house counsel to its president. The plaintiff opposed the motion.

In its motion to vacate, J-M argued the memo was first inadvertently produced in a …

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Meeting Agendas Between Non-Party Consultant and Counsel for Asbestos Friction Clients Not Privileged

The plaintiffs’ law firm of Maune Raichle Hartley French & Mudd, LLC (Maune) subpoenaed documents from Exponent, Inc., a non-party in Maune’s asbestos litigation pending in Madison County, Illinois. At the request of Exponent, the circuit court held Exponent in friendly civil contempt for refusing to provide an unredacted version of certain documents requested in Maune’s subpoena. Exponent appealed this contempt order as well as the underlying discovery order. Exponent argued that the circuit court abused its discretion in requiring production of these documents, because …

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Southern District of Illinois Strikes Portions of Pre-Trial Disclosures Containing Vague, Boilerplate Language; Parties Have No Right to Reserve Use of Un-Named Discovery

In four different rulings in the same case, the Southern District of Illinois struck portions of pre-trial disclosures filed by the plaintiff and various defendants. In their pre-trial disclosures, defendants Ingersoll-Rand, Viking Pumps, and Excelsior identified no witnesses and reserved the right to call numerous un-named witnesses at trial. The plaintiff also reserved the right to call numerous un-named witnesses at trial.

The court cited Rule 26: “Under Rule 26(a)(3), pretrial disclosures must (emphasis added) include: ‘(i) the name and, if not previously provided, the …

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