• Federal Court Finds That SEC Attorneys’ Interview Notes and Memories Are Not Protected by the Work Product Doctrine
  • February 11, 2013 | Authors: Bruce M. Bettigole; Andrew M. McCormick
  • Law Firm: Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP - Washington Office
  • In a highly unusual decision that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) says “ignores 65 years of precedent,” a federal judge has held that the memories of SEC attorneys and information from their interview notes are discoverable. The SEC lawyers appear to have interviewed three key witnesses during the investigation without taking their sworn testimony, thereby avoiding the creation of a verbatim transcript. In a February 4, 2013 Order, Magistrate Judge Nathanael Cousins of the Northern District of California rejected the SEC’s argument that its attorneys’ memories and notes about these interviews were protected by the work product doctrine and ordered full responses to interrogatories regarding the interviews.