Coburn Group v. Whitecap Advisors LLC

640 F. Supp. 2d 1032 (2009)

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Coburn Group v. Whitecap Advisors LLC

United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
640 F. Supp. 2d 1032 (2009)

SC

Facts

Coburn Group (Coburn) (plaintiff) sued Whitecap Advisors LLC (Whitecap) (defendant) for breach of an oral contract. During discovery, Whitecap flagged and reviewed approximately 72,000 pages of potentially responsive documents. Whitecap used established internal protocols for sorting and reviewing the documents for responsiveness and privilege. The review was undertaken by two experienced paralegals and was supervised by Michael Hultquist, a lead counsel on the case. In the end, Whitecap produced approximately 40,000 pages of documents. Inadvertently included in this production was an internal email that should have been covered by the work-product doctrine. Whitecap learned of this disclosure during a deposition and immediately objected to the line of questioning based on privilege. The next day, Whitecap asked Coburn to return the email because it was privileged. Coburn declined to do so. After further discussions about the return and use of the email, Whitecap filed a motion seeking an order compelling the return of the email and prohibiting Coburn from using any information obtained from the email. Coburn objected to the motion.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Brown, J.)

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