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Schaeffer v. Gregory Village Partners, LP

United States District Court, N.D. California

January 12, 2015

RYAN SCHAEFFER, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
GREGORY VILLAGE PARTNERS, L.P., et al., Defendants.

ORDER RE DISCOVERY DISPUTE

JON S. TIGAR, District Judge.

Now before the Court is the parties' discovery dispute regarding the applicability of the attorney-client privilege and work-product protection to the documents listed in Gregory Village Partners, LP and VPI, Inc.'s (collectively, "Gregory Village") privilege log. See ECF No. 104. Having carefully reviewed the documents in camera and considered the arguments and evidence presented by the parties, the Court finds that certain documents identified by Gregory Village as privileged are not and orders Gregory Village to produce those documents to Plaintiffs.

I. BACKGROUND

A. Factual History

In June 2011, Plaintiffs brought this action against multiple defendants, seeking to remediate contamination at the site of their home. ECF No. 1-1. Gregory Village is the current owner of a property from which some of that contamination allegedly flowed. Id. at 2-4.

VPI, Inc.'s Vice President, Mary Haber, also serves as Gregory Village's in-house general counsel. Decl. of Mary Haber in Supp. of Gregory Village Br. that Communications with Tracy Craig Are Privileged, ¶¶ 1, 2 ("Haber Declaration"); ECF No. 118 at 4. According to Haber, VPI, Inc. and Gregory Village are "associated entities." Haber Decl. ¶ 1. Plaintiffs contend that it is not clear when Haber is acting in her role as general counsel as opposed to her role as a businesswoman, as she "wears multiple hats" in her work for the companies, and signs various documents pertinent to this litigation either as Vice President of VPI, Inc., as general counsel to Gregory Village, or both. ECF No. 118 at 4, 11.

In February 2009, Gregory Village hired Tracy Craig and her company, Craig Communications, as public relations consultants. ECF No. 118 at 3 & Ex. 3. At that time, the Regional Water Quality Control Board ("Board") was working with Gregory Village regarding possible contamination from its property and to determine what steps should be taken toward remediation. Id . Ex. 4. Craig and her company's official responsibilities included: (1) conducting "community research, " identifying "key contacts, " and developing a "key contact list with representative names, addresses, " etc.; (2) meeting with Gregory Village and the Board to "develop initial outreach strategy and short-term outreach goals, " and following-up to "refine key messages and project strategy"; (3) developing a one-page fact sheet summarizing "main project points to provide to elected officials and key community representatives"; (4) scheduling and attending "ten meetings with key stakeholders"; and (5) preparing a short report summarizing "community characteristics and composition, key social and community organizations, preferred methods to communicate with various segments of the community, [and] information gathered from outreach meetings and recommended outreach tasks." Id. at 3 & Ex. 3.

Craig participated in public meetings before the Board and the City of Pleasant Hill with Ed Firestone, an outside attorney working for Gregory Village. Haber Decl. ¶¶ 5, 20. Craig also went door-to-door in neighborhoods potentially affected by contamination from the Gregory Village property to meet neighbors and, in some cases, seek to secure access agreements to permit Gregory Village's environmental consultants to perform sampling as required by the Board. Id . She also met with neighbors, including the Plaintiffs, to persuade them to agree to the installation of depressurization systems under their homes as a mitigation measure. Id . ¶ 21.

B. Procedural History

On May 16, 2012, Plaintiffs requested production from Gregory Village of various documents related to this litigation. ECF No. 118 at 1. Gregory Village responded to Plaintiffs' request on June 29, 2012, and on November 5, 2012, served on Plaintiffs a privilege log, claiming attorney-client privilege or work-product protection for more than one thousand documents encompassing thousands of pages. Id . The parties met and conferred regarding the request for production and the privilege log, and Gregory Village has since modified versions its privilege log three times. Id . Plaintiffs continue to object to Gregory Village's claims of privilege for the documents listed on the log. See ECF No. 104 at 1. In particular, Plaintiffs object to Gregory Village's claims of privilege or work-product protection for documents that contain communications from or to Tracy Craig and/or Mary Haber. Id . Plaintiffs also object to the fact that the descriptions of documents listed in past versions of the log have been shown to be inaccurate, and therefore Plaintiffs do not believe that the current log entries accurately describe the documents listed on the log. Id. at 2.

On October 6, 2014, the Court ordered Gregory Village to review its privilege log and to verify that it continues to assert the privilege or work-product protection as to every item on it. Id. at 3. To the extent Gregory Village, after review, no longer asserted the privilege for certain log entries, it was ordered to revise its privilege log and submit it to Plaintiffs by October 16, 2014. Id . The Court also ordered Gregory Village to ensure that the descriptions of documents contained in the log were accurate, and to file a brief in support of its claims of privilege. Id.

In response, Plaintiffs were ordered to identify up to fifty documents for which Gregory Village asserted the privilege based on Haber's participation in the communication contained in the documents ("Haber Documents"), and fifty documents wherein the claim of privilege rested on Craig's participation in the communication ("Craig Documents"), and to which Plaintiffs objected to the assertion of the privilege. Id . Also, Plaintiffs were to file an opposition to Gregory Village's brief in support of its privilege claims. Id . Finally, Gregory Village was to lodge with the Court paper copies of the aforementioned documents, and the same documents saved to a CD. Id.

The parties have complied with the Court's October 6 Order, submitting the documents to each other and to the Court as requested. The privilege log Gregory Village submitted to Plaintiffs and the Court now contains 1, 145 entries. Id . Plaintiffs continue to object to Gregory Village's claims of privilege. See ECF No. 118.

Gregory Village also submitted to the Court[1] a document entitled "Further Submission by Defendants Gregory Village Partners, L.P. and VPI, Inc. Regarding Craig and Haber Documents Designated as Privileged by Defendants and Selected by Plaintiffs for In Camera Review" ("Further Submission"). In the Further Submission, Gregory Village either partially or fully withdraws its claim of privilege with respect to several of the documents on the privilege log.[2] Because, Plaintiffs contend, the Further Submission indicates that Gregory Village has not carefully reviewed its privilege log to ensure that each entry on the log is justified, and because descriptions of documents in the log continue to be inaccurate, despite the Court's previous order, Plaintiffs object to Gregory Village's claim of privilege with respect to each document in the log. ECF No. 118 at 2.

II. LEGAL STANDARD

Where, as here, subject matter jurisdiction is premised on a federal question, federal common law governs privilege issues. Fed.R.Evid. 501; United States v. Ruehle, 583 F.3d 600, 608 (9th Cir. 2009). "A party asserting the attorney-client privilege has the burden of establishing the existence of an attorney-client relationship and the privileged nature of the communication." United States v. Graf, 610 F.3d 1148, 1156 (9th Cir. 2010) (quotations and internal alterations omitted). "Because it impedes the full and free discovery of the truth, the attorney-client privilege is strictly construed." Id . (quotations omitted). The Ninth Circuit applies an eight-factor test to determine whether communications are covered by the attorney-client privilege:

(1) Where legal advice of any kind is sought (2) from a professional legal adviser in his capacity as such, (3) the communications relating to that purpose, (4) made in confidence (5) by the client, (6) are at his instance permanently protected (7) from disclosure by himself or by the legal adviser, (8) unless the protection be waived.

Id. The transmission of a communication to a party outside the attorney-client relationship destroys the confidentiality of the communication and therefore the privilege may not be invoked as to that communication. See Ruehle, 583 F.3d at 609. Where a given communication contains both privileged and non-privileged information, the party asserting the privilege may bear the burden of "segregat[ing] the privileged information from the non-privileged information." Id.

Work-product protection derives from Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(b)(3). Under that rule, attorney work-product prepared in anticipation of litigation is protected from disclosure. Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(3); see, e.g., Great Am. Assurance Co. v. Liberty Surplus Ins. Co., 669 F.Supp.2d 1084, 1092 (N.D. Cal. 2009).

III. DISCUSSION

A. Application of Privilege to Tracy Craig Documents

The parties dispute whether Craig's communications constitute "communications... by the client" and whether they were communications for the purpose of providing and receiving legal advice from a professional legal adviser.

1. Tracy Craig as "client"

Gregory Village contends that the attorney-client privilege extends to Craig as Gregory Village's agent and "functional employee." Gregory Village Br. Regarding Applicability of Privilege to Tracy Craig Docs., at 6 ("Gregory Village Brief"). Further, Gregory Village contends, "[c]ommunications by third parties... concerning a client's legal and litigation interests are no less privileged than if the exchanges were directly between attorney and client." Id . (citing United States v. Schwimmer, 892 F.2d 237, 244 (2d Cir. 1989)). Plaintiffs counter that Craig is not a "functional employee, " but merely a third party, because her communications with Gregory Village attorneys did not "emanate[] directly from" Gregory Village, and that "[t]he mere possibility that a public relations firm might help counsel formulate legal advice is not sufficient to invoke the privilege." ECF No. 118 at 6 (citing Calvin Klein Trademark Trust v. Wachner, 198 F.R.D. 53 (S.D.N.Y. 2000).

The underlying basis for Gregory Village's assertion of privilege of communications with Craig is the decision in Upjohn Co. v. United States, 449 U.S. 383 (1981). In Upjohn, the Supreme Court held that the proper inquiry for assessing the scope of the privilege in corporations is which corporate employees or agents possess relevant information the corporate attorney needs to render sound legal advice to the corporation. Id. at 391-92. "Functional employees" are agents of a corporation that fall within the privilege's scope under Upjohn.

Gregory Village cites several cases in support of its argument that Craig should be treated as a functional employee. The most relevant here are Graf, In re Bieter Co., 16 F.3d 929 (8th Cir. 1994), and In re Copper Market Antitrust Litigation, 200 F.R.D. 213 (S.D.N.Y. 2001). See also FTC v. GlaxoSmithKline, 294 F.3d 141, 148 (D.C. Cir. 2002) (extending privilege to communications between corporate employees and corporation's public relations and government affairs consultants; "the consultants became integral members of the team assigned to deal with issues that were completely intertwined with [the corporation's] litigation and legal strategies.") (internal alterations and quotations omitted); McCaugherty v. Siffermann, 132 F.R.D. 234, 239 (N.D. Cal. 1990) (concluding that the privilege applied to communications with consultants, where the consultants performed work within "an environment dense in regulations, " and the consultants "knew that whatever deals they considered had to be analyzed within that regulatory framework, " and "also knew that there would be consequential legal implications of" their actions).

In Bieter, the court found the privilege applied to communications between an attorney and a consultant working for the client-company, where the consultant was intimately involved in the subject matter of litigation arising from a real estate venture the consultant had been hired to assist in developing. 16 F.3d at 938-40. The Ninth Circuit, in Graf, adopted Bieter's functional employee doctrine. Graf, 610 F.3d at 1156-59. Graf, however, presented a much more clear-cut circumstance than that presented here. The "consultant" at issue in Graf was "heavily involved in all facets of the company's operations, " and there was evidence that the only reason the "consultant" was not hired formally as a company employee was that the state of California had banned him from insurance work, which was the company's business. Id. at 1153 & n.2.

Most relevant here, in Copper Market, the court found that the privilege extended to litigation-related communications to and from a public relations firm a corporation hired to respond to anticipated and actual litigation. 200 F.R.D. 213. The court explained that, under Upjohn, "there is no reason to distinguish between a person on the corporation's payroll and a consultant hired by the corporation if each acts for the corporation and possesses the information needed by attorneys in rendering legal advice." Id. at 219. The court went on to find that the firm "was, essentially, incorporated into [the corporation's] staff to perform a corporate function that was necessary in the context of the government investigation, actual and anticipated private litigation, and heavy press scrutiny obtaining at the time." Id . The firm's "function" included "preparing statements for public release and internal documents designed to inform [corporate] employees about what could and could not be said about the scandal" that formed the basis of governmental action and litigation. Id.

These precedents indicate that, where a consultant performs work that is substantially intertwined with the subject matter of a corporation's legal concerns, and the consultant provides information to the corporation's attorney to aid the attorney in advising the corporate client, the privilege extends to the consultant as the corporation's functional employee. It is true that, by and large, these cases involved consultants who had a much more extensive role in the company claiming privilege than did Craig. But Craig's responsibilities, though she was only retained for a limited time and purpose, were very much intertwined with Gregory Village's legal troubles- both regulatory action and potential litigation-and her activities involved the collection of information and direction by counsel that characterized the activities of the consultants who were deemed functional employees.

Gregory Village also cites two cases in which courts found the privilege does not extend to consultants: United States v. Chevron Texaco Corp., 241 F.Supp.2d 1065 (N.D. Cal. 2002), and Genentech, Inc. v. Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania, No. C 10-2037 PSG, 2011 WL 5079531 (N.D. Cal. Oct. 24, 2011). These cases are distinguishable from the present circumstances.

In Genentech, the court found that communications between a consultant and owner of an equity interest in a small life-sciences firm, Greene, and that firm's attorney, Blitzer, were not protected by the attorney-client privilege. 2011 WL 5079531, at *3. In particular, the court noted that Greene was retained to advise the firm's board of directors regarding the strength and potential of the firm's patent portfolio. Id . Further, the court found that though the patents would later be the subject of suit, Greene's communications with Blitzer were not made for the purpose of providing legal advice, but rather served a business purpose-i.e., evaluating the strength of the business's patent portfolio and reporting the same to the firm's board of directors. Id . Moreover, when Blitzer was communicating with Greene, it appeared that he was not acting as the firm's in-house counsel, but rather as its CEO. Id. at *3 ("Nor do the communications reveal Blitzer acting in any way as a lawyer. In fact, in the course of the email thread in dispute, Blitzer goes so far as to announce that he is speaking as the CEO'...."). Accordingly, the court found that Greene was not a "functional employee" and the privilege did not protect his communications with Blitzer. Id.

In Chevron Texaco, Chevron asserted the privilege protected its communications with an outside accounting firm. The court held that, in the realm of accounting, advice from tax consultants is necessarily "legal" because it is inherently based on the interpretation of intricate tax rules and regulations. 241 F.Supp.2d at 1070-72. In such circumstances, an attorney can claim privilege with respect to communications to and from an accounting firm only if the firm is serving as a conduit of information to the attorney-i.e., is "translating" the client's accounting data and information into a form that the attorney can use to advise the client. Id . Where an accounting firm is only serving to provide its own tax-related advice, the privilege does not apply. Id. at 1072. Chevron-Texaco and its tax-accounting rule are not on point here.

Plaintiffs assert that various cases show that the Craig Documents should not be protected by the privilege. For example, Plaintiffs cite Calvin Klein, 198 F.R.D. 53, which is their best case, and Great American Surplus Lines Insurance Co. v. Ave Oil Co., 120 F.R.D. 533, 538 (E.D. Cal. 1988). Plaintiffs also cite Bieter and Graf, but as discussed above, the Court does not find that those cases point in Plaintiffs' favor.

Calvin Klein involved the assertion of privilege and work-product protection related to communications with a public relations firm hired by plaintiff's counsel. 198 F.R.D. 53. In that case, however, the communications at issue "appear[ed] on their face to be routine suggestions from a public relations firm as to how to put the spin' most favorable to [Calvin Klein] on successive developments in the ongoing litigation." Id. at 54. The court found that "few, if any, of the documents in issue appear to contain or reveal confidential communications from the underlying client... made for the purpose of obtaining legal advice." Id . The court explained that "the possibility that communications between [the firm] and [counsel] may help the latter to formulate legal advice is not in itself sufficient to implicate the privilege...." Id . (citation omitted). The court reiterated that the firm was "simply providing ordinary public relations advice so far as the documents" in question were concerned, so it was unlikely that the communications were "originally made for the purpose of seeking legal advice." Id.

Calvin Klein is a good case for Plaintiffs, but it is distinguishable. Here, unlike in Calvin Klein, Craig communicated directly with the regulatory bodies and neighbors/potential legal adversaries that were the source of Gregory Village's legal concerns. She collected information from neighbors that she transmitted to Gregory Village's attorneys-information that would have been difficult for Gregory Village to gather on its own-and also, under the direction of Gregory Village attorneys, worked with neighbors to obtain access agreements and to attempt to dissuade them from litigation by having them settling for the installation of depressurization systems. She was hired solely to serve in this function, unlike the firm in Calvin Klein, which the company had already retained for general public relations. In contrast to the firm in Calvin Klein, Craig's duties for Gregory Village were so intertwined with the subject matter for which Gregory Village sought legal advice that she should be treated as a functional employee. Finally, the Calvin Klein court expressly relied on the fact that the communications at issue were not made for the purpose of obtaining legal advice; unlike here, the court did not expressly decide whether the firm's employees should be treated as Calvin Klein's "functional employees."

Great American also is distinguishable because it was decided under California's law of privilege, not under federal law, from which it differs materially. 120 F.R.D. at 536.

Under these precedents, Craig does, generally, count as a "functional employee." At the time she was hired, Gregory Village faced regulatory action by the Board in light of possible contamination at the site, as well as potential litigation with neighbors whose properties might have been contaminated. Accordingly, to the extent Craig was communicating with Gregory Village attorneys regarding the contamination-the subject matter of the regulatory action and potential litigation-she was acting as Gregory Village's functional employee. She also interacted with neighbors-potential opponents in litigation, who turned out, at least in this case, to be actual opposing litigants-to gather information from them regarding their concerns about the contamination; to secure access agreements so Gregory Village could perform on-site sampling; to plan and execute sampling on site; and to attempt to avoid litigation on behalf of Gregory Village by offering to install depressurization systems to prevent contaminated vapor particles from entering Plaintiffs' home. When attending public meetings, interacting with neighbors, and otherwise being the face of the company, Gregory Village's attorneys counseled her actions. In all these activities, Craig acted as the public face of the company and provided information to Gregory Village's legal staff that was useful and necessary to evaluate legal strategy for the company going forward. Craig acted as Gregory Village's functional employee for the purposes of the attorney-client privilege.

And because the Court finds that Craig was acting as a functional employee, disclosure of confidential information to her does not destroy the privilege. So to the extent that Plaintiffs assert that certain communications are not privileged because Craig was included in those communications, Plaintiffs' objections fail.

But, the fact that, in general, Craig was a functional employee does not answer the question whether all of her communications with Gregory Village employees were for the purpose of providing or receiving legal advice on behalf of Gregory Village, an element of the privilege that Gregory Village bears the burden to prove.

2. Communications related to a legal purpose

After review of the Craig Documents, the Court finds that the following documents contain communications for the purpose of providing or receiving legal advice related to potential regulatory action by the Board or litigation by neighbors: 53, 594, 607-09, 617, 621, 634, 652, the portion of 745 for which Gregory Village still asserts the privilege, the portion of 747 that is not an email and draft agenda sent to Board members Kevin Brown and Chuck Headlee, 753, 785, 786, 808, 990, and 1141-45. The Court also finds that the following documents do not contain communications related to a legal purpose: 478, 508-10, 512, 513, 515, 517, the portion of 722 for which Gregory Village continues to claim the privilege, 754, 777, and 1115. Instead, these latter documents contain communications regarding such matters as scheduling, acquiring babysitters, and identifying which neighbors to give gift cards. With respect to the latter documents, Gregory Village has not carried its burden to show that the documents are privileged. It therefore must produce them to Plaintiffs.

B. Objections to Haber Documents

1. Attorney-client privilege

No party questions that Haber is an attorney. The parties do, however, dispute whether: (1) Haber offered the communications in the Haber Documents in her capacity as a legal advisor, as opposed to her position as the Vice President of VPI, Inc., (2) for the purpose of providing legal advice to her client, Gregory Village, and/or (3) whether those communications were made in confidence-i.e., outside the presence of third parties who would destroy the privilege. In this case, the first two questions collapse into one.

Plaintiffs contend, based on Chevron Texaco, that Gregory Village has not made the necessary showing to indicate that Haber made the communications in the Haber Documents in her role as legal adviser, rather than in her role as Vice President of VPI, Inc. ECF No. 118 at 10-12. In Chevron Texaco, the court explained that when communications for which the privilege has been asserted involve in-house counsel, the entity asserting the privilege "must make a clear showing that the speaker made the communications for the purpose of obtaining or providing legal advice." 241 F.Supp.2d at 1076 (citation and internal alterations omitted). Thus, whether Haber engaged in these communications in her role as legal adviser and whether the communications were made for a legal purpose become the same fundamental question: whether Haber engaged in the communications for the purpose of providing legal advice to Gregory Village.

Having reviewed the Haber Documents, the Court finds that Haber engaged in the communications contained in the following documents for the purpose of providing or obtaining legal advice: 12, 17, 18, 20, 21, 32, 84, 85, 103, 108, 112, 246, 543, 544, 571, 574, 575, 668, 689, 690, 695, 736, 744, 826, 864, 981-84, 1083 (as modified by Gregory Village's Further Submission), 1095, 1118, 1124, and 1140. These communications were made for the purpose of obtaining information about possible contamination at the Gregory Village site, conducting and interpreting sampling at the site, and interacting with the Board, all of which involve the legal troubles Gregory Village was facing. It can therefore be assumed that Haber, while she may also have been engaging in the communications as VPI's Vice President, was engaging in the communications for legal purposes. On the other hand, the Court finds that the communications in the following Haber Documents were not engaged in for the purpose of providing or obtaining legal advice, or at least that Gregory Village has not met its burden to show that they were made for this purpose: 83, 519, 577, 642, and 1046.

As to confidentiality, Plaintiffs argue that Craig's inclusion in the Haber Document communications destroyed the confidentiality of those communications and therefore the privilege does not protect them. But, as explained in section III.A.1., supra, the Court has found that Craig acted a functional employee, so her participation in communications did not destroy their confidentiality. The Court does find, however, that the presence of third parties destroyed the confidentiality of documents 134 and the portion of document 941 that was disclosed to Sylvia Pong.

2. Work-product protection

A few documents for which Gregory Village claims confidentiality and to which Plaintiffs object are not clearly communications, but rather appear to be Haber's research or other notes. See docs. 1119, 1121, 1124, 1127. Because these documents do not represent communications, they are not protected by the attorney-client privilege. But they are protected as attorney work-product.

The Court finds that documents 1119, 1121, 1124, and 1127 reflect Haber's notes and research related to contamination at the Gregory Village property, and they reveal her mental impressions regarding the Board's regulatory action and potential litigation by neighbors. They are thus Haber's attorney work-product, see SEC v. Roberts, 254 F.R.D. 371, 382-83 (N.D. Cal. 2008), and are not subject to production to Plaintiffs without a showing of "substantial need, " Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(3)(A)(i). Plaintiffs have not indicated their substantial need for these documents and so they remain protected and not subject to production to Plaintiffs.

C. Gregory Village's Failure To Comply With the Court's Order To Review Its Privilege Log

The Court is troubled by Gregory Village's apparent failure to review its privilege log carefully after the Court specifically ordered it to do so. See supra note 1 and accompanying text; ECF No. 104 at 3 ("By October 16, 2014, Gregory Village shall review its privilege log to ensure that (a) Gregory Village continues to assert the attorney-client privilege as to each document on the log; and (b) each document description on the log accurately reflects the subject matter of the underlying communication."). Gregory Village withdrew several of the challenged privilege log entries after it had supposedly re-certified the legitimacy of its privilege log, but before the parties' dispute was submitted to the Court; documents on the privilege log continued to be mislabeled; and non-privileged documents remained on the privilege log. These facts lead to the conclusion that Gregory Village either did not review its privilege log as required by the Court's order, or did not take its obligations to the Plaintiffs or the Court seriously when it conducted that review. The Court now has very little confidence in the remainder of Gregory Village's privilege log. Indeed, it appears likely that Gregory Village's log is shielding additional relevant, unprivileged documents from production.

This circumstance is frustrating to the Court. The Court has already ordered Gregory Village to review its privilege log, and there would appear to be little benefit in the Court merely repeating its order. It also appears that Gregory Village's conduct leading up to the submission of the motion may not have been in good faith, and that it may have unnecessarily multiplied the proceedings. Accordingly, Gregory Village is hereby ORDERED TO SHOW CAUSE why monetary sanctions should not be imposed against it pursuant to either Rule 37(a)(5) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, 28 U.S.C. § 1927, or both.[3] Gregory Village is ordered to respond in writing to this order by January 27, 2015. Plaintiffs may, but are not required, to file a response to Gregory Village's response by February 11, 2015. If Plaintiffs file a response, Gregory Village may file a reply by February 18, 2015. The Court will conduct a hearing on this Order to Show Cause on March 10, 2015 at 2:00 p.m.

By January 27, 2015, Gregory Village is also ordered to file a declaration under penalty of perjury, by an attorney of record, that he or she has personally reviewed every entry on the Gregory Village privilege log and affirmatively determined that (a) Gregory Village continues to assert the attorney-client or work product privilege as to each document on the log; and (b) each document description on the log accurately reflects the subject matter of the underlying communication.

CONCLUSION

For the foregoing reasons, the Court orders Gregory Village to produce the documents the Court has identified as not privileged to Plaintiffs within ten days of the date of this Order.

With respect to the documents on the privilege log that are not addressed in this Order, the Court's prior order, ECF No. 104, contemplated that the parties would meet and confer immediately upon receipt of this Order to narrow or eliminate their differences over the entries on Gregory Village's privilege log. Given the Court's doubts regarding the integrity of Gregory Village's privilege log, the parties' meet and confer obligation is suspended, although the parties remain free to conduct such discussions if the parties believe they would be helpful.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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