United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER APPOINTING SPECIAL MASTER
VAN KEULEN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
forth in this Court's August 16, 2019 order (Dkt. 37),
the Court has determined that the appointment of a Special
Master is appropriate to review the Parties' instant
dispute regarding privileged documents. See Fed. R.
Civ. P. 53(a)(1); Dkt. 37 at 13. Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P.
53(b)(1) and the Court's August 16, 2019 order, all
Parties have notice of the Court's intent to appoint a
Special Master and have had an opportunity to be heard with
respect to such appointment. Accordingly, the Court
ORDERS as follows:
Court appoints Edward W. Swanson (hereinafter “Special
Master”) to serve as Special Master for the purpose of
reviewing the remaining documents over which Respondents
Francis Burga, individually and as the administrator of the
estate of her late husband, Margelus Burga, and Russell
Mansky (collectively, “Respondents”) assert
privilege. The Court has considered the declaration submitted
by Mr. Swanson (Dkt. 43) and finds that he does not have a
relationship with the parties, attorneys, action, or this
Court that would require disqualification under 28 U.S.C.
DUTIES OF THE SPECIAL MASTER
Except as specifically set forth below, the Special Master
will possess the full authority permitted under Fed.R.Civ.P.
53(c) to perform the duties set forth in this order.
Special Master shall review and resolve all privilege claims
made by Respondents and any exceptions asserted by the
Government with respect to such claims.
Special Master shall proceed with all reasonable diligence in
accordance with the protocol described in this order and
Fed.R.Civ.P. 53(b)(2). The Special Master shall have
discretion to set additional procedures as he sees fit.
documents to be reviewed are those that Respondents claim to
be privileged in accordance with the rulings and guidelines
set forth by this Court in its August 16, 2019 Order (Dkt.
the Special Master's appointment and pursuant to
stipulation, the Parties shall provide the Special Master
with copies of the pleadings each party filed regarding the
Government's challenge to Respondents' assertion of
privilege. The Parties shall also provide the Special Master
with this Court's August 16, 2019 Order (Dkt. 37).
Respondents bear the burden of establishing their privilege
claims. Respondents shall provide the Special Master with:
(1) a log identifying the documents they believe to be
privileged and the basis for their belief in sufficient
detail to permit the Special Master and the Government to
assess the privilege claim; and (2) copies of the identified
documents for in-camera review by the Special
Master. Respondents shall provide the log and the documents
in the form(s) specified by the Special Master (e.g., paper
or electronic media). Pursuant to stipulation, both the log
and the documents must be provided to the Special Master by
December 20, 2019.
the Government disputes any of Respondents' privilege
claims or believes that an exception applies, the Special
Master shall resolve the dispute. The Special Master shall
set deadlines for the Government to object to
Respondents' privilege claims and to assert that an
Special Master shall advise the Government of any documents
that the Respondents agree are not privileged or that
Respondents agree fall within an exception to the applicable
resolving disputes about privilege claims or exceptions, the
Special Master will communicate with counsel in writing
pursuant to stipulation. Counsel will have seven days to
respond in writing. The Parties will also make themselves