e-Discovery and the Government: The Deliberative Process and Legislative Privileges

Extract from David Horrigan’s article “e-Discovery and the Government: The Deliberative Process and Legislative Privileges”

Although the attorney-client privilege and the work product doctrine may be the best known, they’re by no means the only evidentiary protections for confidential information. The spousal communications, spousal testimonial, and the priest/clergy-penitent privileges are all recognized under law, and some states even recognize an accountant-client privilege.Most legal teams—especially e-discovery practitioners—are very familiar with the attorney-client privilege and the protections of the work product doctrine. After all, the privilege log is a ubiquitous presence in just about any e-discovery production.

Two additional privileges—the deliberative process privilege and the legislative privilege—apply to governmental organizations. The deliberative process privilege is often cited in Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) matters. Because the deliberative process privilege is related to executive privilege, it makes its way into news stories when presidents claim it. However, a recent federal court decision illustrates the role these privileges play beyond FOIA requests and White House information embargoes.


The gentrification on neighborhoods is often welcomed and criticized at the same time. The invasions of Starbucks, Whole Foods, and NPR emanating from Volvos picking up at the Montessori school may generally come with the benefit of lower crime rates, but they put the character of New York City and other major cities in jeopardy: classic neighborhoods giving way to overpriced towers of steel and chain-store places to get a meal isn’t particularly charming, either. Civic planners have taken measures to preserve neighborhoods and let people who live in them, stay in them.

One way New York City has dealt with this issue is the Community Preference Policy. Under the policy, when the city assists in financing the construction or renovation of affordable housing and has an affordable housing lottery, 50 percent of units in the housing lotteries must go to individuals who already reside in the “community district” where the new affordable housing units are located.

Established in the 1980s, the idea behind the policy was to help ensure that, when communities are redeveloped, new investment doesn’t cause neighborhood residents to be displaced against their will.

Read the full article here