This time of year, everything tends to be more scary and spooky, but one thing doesn’t have to be – creating a defensible privilege log! Creating a privilege log can be one of the most time consuming, labor intensive and expensive parts of litigation. The last thing you want is to have to spend additional time and money defending or re-doing work on your privilege log.

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(b)(5) only requires that the party withholding material based on a claim of privilege “(i) expressly make the claim; and (ii) describe the nature of the documents, communications, or tangible things not produced or disclosed – and do so in a manner that, without revealing information itself privileged or protected, will enable other parties to assess the claim.” Although this seems simple enough, in practice this can actually be more trick than treat.

Here are some things to keep in mind when creating a privilege log to help make it more defensible and less likely to lead to additional time and money making extensive revisions to the privilege log entries.


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In conjunction with the 2015 American Bar Association annual State of Criminal Justice publication, Louisa Marion and I have published a new chapter on “Digital Privacy and E-Discovery in Government Investigations and Criminal Litigation.” The article provides an in-depth look at many of the current and cutting edge issues raised by digital privacy