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Kirsch v. Brightstar Corp.

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

September 11, 2014

LAWRENCE S. KIRSCH, as Shareholders' Representative of LAWRENCE S. KIRSCH, CHARLES W. KRIETE, MICHAEL J. CHASE, and GEORGE PUSZKA, Plaintiff,
v.
BRIGHTSTAR CORPORATION, Defendant

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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For Lawrence S Kirsch, as Shareholders' Representative, Charles W Kriete, Michael J Chase, George Puszka, Plaintiffs: Margaret Anne Gisch, LEAD ATTORNEY, Ashley Lauren Orler, Matthew Charles Wasserman, Golan & Christie LLP, Chicago, IL.

For Brightstar Corp., a Delaware corporation, Defendant: Mark L. Durbin, LEAD ATTORNEY, Barnes & Thornburg LLP, Chicago, IL; Elizabeth A. Peters, Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP, Chicago, IL.

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MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Rubén Castillo, Chief United States District Judge.

Lawrence S. Kirsch, as Shareholders' Representative of Lawrence S. Kirsch, Charles W. Kriete, Michael J. Chase, and George Puszka (collectively " Shareholders" ), brings this diversity action against Brightstar Corporation (" Brightstar" ) alleging common law breach of contract. (R. 1, Compl.) On June 25, 2014, Shareholders moved to compel Brightstar to produce certain withheld and redacted documents. (R. 72, Pl.'s Mot. Compel.) Shareholders argued, inter alia, that Brightstar improperly redacted certain documents based on attorney-client privilege and relevance. ( Id. at 4-5, 7-8; R. 72-1, Ex. E at 10-12.) After a motion hearing on July 18, 2014, this Court granted in part and denied in part Shareholders' motion to compel. (R. 86, Min. Entry.) The Court directed Brightstar to submit the unredacted documents to Chambers for an in camera review. (R. 87, Jul. 18, 2014 Tr. at 37:15-38:04.) Brightstar complied on August 8, 2014, producing the contested documents to the Court in both redacted and unredacted forms. (R. 91, Def.'s Not. Submission Docs.) Brightstar also provided the Court with three charts that highlight the documents Shareholders contest: Exhibit A lists the documents that were redacted on the basis of privilege and were shared only with in-house and/or outside counsel; Exhibit B lists the documents that were redacted on the basis of privilege and were shared with Tech Data and/or TDMobility; and Exhibit C lists the documents that were redacted on the basis of relevance. (R. 91-1, Ex. A at 2-4; R. 91-1, Ex. B at 6; R. 91-1, Ex. C at 8.) Shareholders submitted to the Court the redacted documents, Brightstar's privilege log, and an updated chart listing the contested documents and the basis of Shareholders' objections.[1] The Court confines

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its in camera review to the documents the parties identified as contested.

LEGAL STANDARD

Federal Rule of Evidence 501 provides, in relevant part, that " in a civil case, state law governs privilege regarding a claim or defense for which state law supplies the rule of decision." Fed.R.Evid. 501. Because this Court has jurisdiction over this case based on diversity of citizenship, and Shareholders' breach of contract claim is subject to Florida law, the issue of attorney-client privilege is governed by Florida law. See Kirsch v. Brightstar Corp., 968 F.Supp.2d 931, 937 (N.D. Ill. 2013). Under Florida law, the attorney-client privilege is codified in section 90.502 of the Florida Statutes, which provides, in relevant part, that:

(1)(c) A communication between lawyer and client is " confidential" if it is not intended to be disclosed to third persons other than:
1. Those to whom disclosure is in furtherance of the rendition of legal ...

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