In a potentially useful discovery order issued today, Judge Liman rejected defendants’ attempt to obtain a document-by-document privilege log from a plaintiff who had submitted a categorical privilege log. The order acknowledges the propriety of using a categorical privilege log as an “efficient means of providing information regarding claims of privilege,” even where third parties are involved in the privileged communications:

Defendants’ letter fails to demonstrate that the privilege log has insufficient information to permit them to make an intelligent determination about the validity of the assertion of the privilege. The Court has reviewed the categorical log. The log identifies certain categories of documents that appear plainly to be privileged, the persons who are on the communications, the date range of the communications, the document types, and the basis of privilege.

There are sometimes numerous documents within each category justifying the use of the categorical approach . . . . As to certain of these categories, third parties are identified but it appears that they are identified with sufficient detail in order for Defendants to make a privilege challenge.