by Brad S. Karp, Jessica S. Carey, Andrew J. Ehrlich, Roberto Finzi, Michael E. Gertzman, Michele Hirshman, Daniel J. Kramer, Lorin L. Reisner, Richard A. Rosen, Audra J. Soloway, Richard C. Tarlowe, Andrew D. Reich, and Joseph Delich
A federal magistrate judge in the Southern District of Florida recently ruled that a law firm had waived work product protection over notes and memoranda of witness interviews when it provided “oral downloads” of those interviews to the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”).
In a December 5, 2017 opinion, SEC Herrera, No. 17-cv-20301 (S.D. Fla. Dec. 5, 2017), Magistrate Judge Jonathan Goodman indicated that he was “not convinced” that “there is a meaningful distinction between the actual production of a witness interview note or memo and providing the same or similar information orally.”
The opinion serves as an important reminder of the risks of waiver—and the need to take steps to minimize those risks—when disclosing information to a government agency. Continue reading