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MONTH-IN-BRIEF (Dec 2020)

Business Litigation

Delaware Court of Chancery Compels Production of Emails with Attorneys Sent Using Computers of Company Playing No Role in Subject Matter of Litigation

By Jonathan M. Stemerman

In re WeWork Litigation, Cons. C.A. No. 2020-0258-AGB (Del. Ch. Dec. 22, 2020)

Defendant SoftBank Group Corp. (“SBG”) was sued in the Delaware Court of Chancery for allegedly breaching its obligations regarding the purchase of up to $3 billion of stock of The We Company (“WeWork”).  During the relevant time period, SBG owned approximately 84% of non-party Sprint, Inc. (“Sprint”) and several of SBG’s document discovery custodians wore multiple hats at SBG and Sprint.          

Plaintiffs moved to compel defendant produce certain emails withheld on the basis of attorney-client privilege, none of which concerned the business or affairs of Sprint or any legal advice rendered for Sprint’s benefit. The emails sought were sent to or from the email accounts of Sprint, which played no role in the subject matter of the litigation. Defendant SBG opposed production, arguing that the custodians, while acting on SBG’s behalf, sought and received legal advice from SBG’s internal and external counsel regarding WeWork. 

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