United States v. Deloitte LLP

610 F.3d 129 (2010)

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United States v. Deloitte LLP

United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
610 F.3d 129 (2010)

SC

Facts

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) (defendant) adjusted the tax returns of Dow Chemical Company (Dow) (plaintiff) as they related to two partnerships Dow owned. Dow sued the IRS, challenging the adjustments. During discovery, the IRS subpoenaed Dow’s auditor, Deloitte LLP, seeking various documents. Deloitte declined to disclose three documents, citing the work-product doctrine. The first document (the Deloitte memorandum) Deloitte had prepared as part of its audit process. The document summarized a meeting between Deloitte and Dow’s lawyers about potential litigation involving one of Dow’s partnerships. The second and third documents (the Dow documents) were prepared by Dow employees and shared with Deloitte so Deloitte could conduct an audit for purposes of preparing Dow’s financial statements. The IRS filed a motion to compel production. The district court denied the motion, finding that disclosure was protected by the work-product doctrine. The IRS appealed, arguing that the Deloitte memorandum was not prepared in anticipation of litigation and that Dow waived the work-product privilege by disclosing the Dow documents to Deloitte.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Sentelle, C.J.)

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