In United States ex rel. Fisher v. Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC, No. 12-CV-543 (E.D. Tex. Mar. 15, 2016), the district court held that communications between qui tam Relators and funding investors were protected by the work product doctrine. In this action brought under the Truth in Lending Act, defendant moved to compel the Relators to identify the names of any actual or potential litigation funders, to produce documents relating to the Relators’ litigation-investing efforts, to provide a privilege log for all documents as to which a claim of privilege was asserted, and to provide all withheld or redacted documents to the court for in camera review. The court rejected the request for in camera review, finding that requiring the court to review potentially hundreds of communications “would constitute a great and unnecessary expenditure of judicial resources.” Instead the court ordered the Relators to provide a detailed privilege log. The court further ordered the Relators to provide the names of any litigation funders. However, the court denied defendant’s motion to compel production of communications between the Relators and litigation funders, finding that the litigation funding information was protected by the work product doctrine. The information exchanged between the Relators and the funders was used to possibly aid in future or ongoing litigation, and as such, the documents were prepared in the anticipation of litigation and constituted work product. Additionally, the court found that disclosure to the funders did not waive the protection because the funders “have an inherent interest in maintaining the confidentiality of potential clients’ information, therefore, Relators had an expectation that the information disclosed to the litigation funders would be treated as confidential.” In addition, no information was disclosed to the funders prior to the funders entering into non-disclosure agreements. Under these circumstances, disclosure to the funders did not substantially increase the likelihood that an adversary would come into possession of the materials.
Register now for your free, tailored, daily legal newsfeed service.
Questions? Please contact firstname.lastname@example.orgRegister
Communications with Litigation Funders Are Protected Work Product
Popular articles from this firm
If you would like to learn how Lexology can drive your content marketing strategy forward, please email email@example.com.
Related topic hubs
"The newsfeeds are very useful to me in the areas in which I practice. The quality of the material is very good and the newsfeeds provide concise overviews of recent developments."