The opinion of the court was delivered by: Roanne L. Mann, United States Magistrate Judge:
The parties to this redistricting litigation have presented the Court with two discovery-related groups of motions. The first motion, filed on June 11, 2012 by the Senate Minority defendants, seeks an order compelling the Senate Majority defendants to produce all documents, and respond to two interrogatories, concerning the determination of the size of the New York State Senate following the 2010 Census redistricting cycle, "including without limitation all attorney-client communications and attorney work product . . . ." See Mem. of Law in Supp. of the Senate Minority's Mot. to Compel Regarding Waiver of Attorney-Client and Work Product Privileges with Respect to the Senate Size (June 11, 2012) ("6/11/12 Senate Minority Mem."), Electronic Case Filing ("ECF") Docket Entry ("DE") DE #390. The second group of motions, filed on June 18, 2012 respectively by the Senate Majority, Assembly Majority, and Assembly Minority defendants, requests a protective order precluding the compelled disclosure of documents and information protected by the legislative privilege. See Mem. in Supp. of Mot. for Protective Order for the Assembly Majority on the Ground of Legislative Privilege (June 18, 2012) ("6/18/12 Assembly Majority Mem."), DE #394; Mem. of Law in Supp. of Senate Majority Defendants' Mot. for a Protective Order (June 18, 2012) ("6/18/12 Senate Majority Mem."), DE #397-1; Mem. in Supp. of Assembly Minority's Mot. for a Protective Order (June 18, 2012) ("6/18/12 Assembly Minority Mem."), DE #399.*fn1
For the reasons stated herein, the Senate Minority's motion to compel is denied without prejudice. The Court defers ruling on the motions for protective orders filed by the Senate Majority, Assembly Majority, and Assembly Minority defendants (hereinafter, the "Senate Majority," "Assembly Majority," and "Assembly Minority," respectively), pending the completion of the Court's in camera review of privileged documents.
The defendants are directed to produce to the Court, for in camera inspection, the following documents by August 17, 2012: The Senate Majority is directed to produce all documents listed in its privilege logs, and the Assembly Majority and Assembly Minority are directed to produce all documents in their respective privilege logs relating to the Assembly districts in Nassau County. Additionally, the Senate Majority, Assembly Majority, and Assembly Minority are directed to supplement their privilege logs as described in Part III of this opinion, and to serve and file (via ECF) their revised logs by August 20, 2012.
The instant litigation involves challenges to the newly enacted New York State Senate and Assembly redistricting plans (the "2012 Senate Plan" and the "2012 Assembly Plan," respectively), which were signed into law by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo in March 2012. See Favors v. Cuomo, 2012 WL 1802073, at *2. The challenges are brought by three sets of plaintiff-intervenors -- the Drayton Intervenors, the Lee Intervenors, and the Ramos Intervenors -- as against the Governor of New York, various executive officials, New York state legislators, the New York State Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment ("LATFOR"), and members of LATFOR. Id. As relevant to the instant motions, the Drayton Intervenors, Lee Intervenors, and Ramos Intervenors allege that the 2012 Senate Plan "improperly dilutes the voting power of African Americans, Asian Americans and Hispanics in violation of the United States Constitution and the Voting Rights Act [("VRA")], and the malapportioned districts lack any legitimate justification." See id. The Drayton Intervenors and Ramos Intervenors also allege that the 2012 Assembly Plan "violates Section 2 [of the VRA] by failing to create new majority-minority districts in Nassau County and New York and Bronx Counties, respectively." See id.*fn3 Lastly, the Senate Minority has asserted a cross-claim against all defendants, alleging that the 2012 Senate Plan violates the one-person, one-vote principle of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment because the Senate Majority, "[r]ather than making an honest and good faith effort to adhere as closely as possible to the Fourteenth Amendment's equal population principle, . . . maximized the population deviations[,] . . . because doing so (and increasing the size of the body by one district) was the only way the Majority could draw lines specifically intended to perpetuate the Republic majority in the Senate." See 5/23/12 Senate Minority Answer and Cross-Claim at 9-11.
Throughout the course of this litigation, the parties have from time to time raised the issues of attorney-client privilege and legislative privilege. On April 20, 2012, the three-judge court (the "Panel") assigned to this case ordered the defendants to "show cause as to why they should not be required to identify the person(s) who drew the challenged [New York State Senate] map . . . , and be prepared to produce the individual(s) for depositions." See Minute Entry for Three-Judge Court Hearing (Apr. 20, 2012). In response, the Senate Majority claimed "an absolute testimonial privilege bar[ring] plaintiffs from deposing the individual or individuals who drew the 2012 Senate redistricting map about deliberations and communications regarding this legislative activity." See Senate Majority's Response to the Court's April 20 Order (Apr. 27, 2012) ("4/27/12 Senate Majority Resp.") at 15, DE #338.
Shortly thereafter, the Panel referred the matter to the undersigned magistrate judge "to supervise discovery on such schedule, including an expedited schedule, as she may deem appropriate, and to issue all discovery-related orders, including, but not limited to, scheduling orders and orders resolving or otherwise addressing any discovery disputes that the parties are unable to resolve after good faith efforts to reach resolution thereof without court action." See Favors, 2012 WL 1802073, at *15. At a proceeding held on May 29, 2012, this Court set a discovery schedule,*fn4 as well as a briefing schedule for the parties' unresolved privilege issues. See Minute Entry and Order (May 29, 2012), DE #377. The parties have now filed their discovery cross-motions addressing the attorney-client privilege, work product protection, and legislative privilege.
The Senate Minority, Drayton Intervenors, Lee Intervenors, and Ramos Intervenors jointly served twenty-nine document demands and fifteen interrogatories on all defendants. See generally See generally Plaintiffs' Consolidated Initial Discovery Requests (May 31, 2012) ("Pl. Disc. Requests"), Ex. A. to Decl. of Todd R. Geremia (June 18, 2012) ("6/18/12 Geremia Decl.") at 7-15, DE #395-1. The demands and interrogatories seek documents and information regarding the development of the 2012 Senate and 2012 Assembly Plans. See id. With respect to the 2012 Senate Plan, the plaintiffs generally request documents and information regarding the instructions given to the mapmakers, the reasons that the plan deviates from equal population, the use of traditional redistricting principles or partisan goals in the development of the plan, considerations of alternative plans and public proposals, the decision to add and placement of a 63rd district, regional malapportionment, attorney communications and time sheets, and documents intended for use in motions now pending before the Panel. See id. As for the 2012 Assembly Plan, the plaintiffs request non-public documents and information concerning the redistricting of the districts in New York City and on Long Island. See id. In connection with all of their demands, the plaintiffs request communications between and among legislators, legislative staff members, LATFOR members, LATFOR staff, attorneys, and experts. See id. Finally, the plaintiffs' interrogatories ask the defendants to identify the individuals involved with the 2012 redistricting plans, and, among other information, the motivations behind the drafting of those plans. See id. at 13-15.
I. Motion to Compel: Attorney-Client Privilege and Work Product Protection
On June 11, 2012, the Senate Minority filed a motion for an order
compelling the defendants to produce "all documents relating to or
reflecting the determination of the size of the [New York State]
Senate in 2012, including without limitation all attorney-client
communications and attorney work product, and to . . . respond to
Interrogatories Nos. 5 and 6 in Plaintiffs' Consolidated Initial
Discovery Requests."*fn5 See 6/11/12 Senate Minority
Mem. at 1.*fn6 The Senate Minority argues that the
Senate Majority waived its attorney-client privilege and work product
protection when it released to the public (and later relied upon in
state court) a January 5, 2012 memorandum from attorney Michael A. Carvin to New
York State Senators Dean Skelos and Michael Nozzolio*fn7
(the "2012 Carvin Memorandum") discussing the appropriate
size of the Senate following the 2010 Census. See 6/11/12 Senate
Minority Mem. at 3-5; see also 2012 Carvin Memorandum, Ex. 2 to Decl.
of Eric Hecker in Supp. of Senate Minority Mot. to Compel (June 11,
2012) ("6/11/12 Hecker Decl."), DE #391-2.*fn8
More specifically, the Senate Minority asserts that the Senate Majority effectuated a subject-matter waiver of the attorney-client privilege with respect to documents related to the determination of the Senate size in the current redistricting cycle because (1) it "affirmatively chose" to release the memorandum on the LATFOR website, "actively represent[ing] to the public that the analysis in the Carvin Memorandum is the reason why a 63rd Senate district was added in 2012," see 6/11/12 Senate Minority Mem. at 5 (emphasis in original); and (2) "expressly and repeatedly relied" on the memorandum in Cohen v. Cuomo, 19 N.Y.3d 196 (N.Y. 2012), a state lawsuit that involved an unsuccessful challenge, under the New York State Constitution, to the addition of the 63rd Senate district. See 6/11/12 Senate Minority Mem. at 5. Citing the Second Circuit's decisions in United States v. Bilzerian, 926 F.2d 1285, 1292 (2d Cir. 1991), and In re County of Erie, 546 F.3d 222, 228 (2d Cir. 2008) ("Erie II"), the Senate Minority argues that "[b]asic rules of fairness dictate that the Senate Minority must be allowed to test the veracity of Defendants' claim that they increased the size of the Senate for the purportedly neutral reason that the 'most faithful' reading of the New York Constitution required them to do so." See 6/11/12 Senate Minority Mem. at 4, 6.*fn9
The Senate Majority levies a series of arguments in opposition. See Senate Majority Defendants' Opp. to the Senate Minority's Mot. to Compel Privileged Commc'ns and Work-Product with Respect to the Size of the State Senate (June 25, 2012) ("6/25/12 Senate Majority Opp."), DE #405. First, the Senate Majority argues that because the 2012 Carvin Memorandum was never intended to be confidential, the attorney-client privilege and work product protection do not attach to the document, and therefore its publication does not constitute a waiver of those privileges. See id. at 8. Second, citing In re von Bulow, 828 F.2d 94, 102 (2d Cir. 1987), and John Doe Co. v. United States, 350 F.3d 299, 306 (2d Cir. 2003), the Senate Majority avers, in the alternative, that even if the publication of the 2012 Carvin Memorandum waived the privilege, the waiver is limited to the memorandum itself, since it was used only defensively in the Cohen case, and was not affirmatively relied upon in that (or the instant) litigation. See 6/25/12 Senate Majority Opp. at 10-18. Third, the Senate Majority asserts that documents and information regarding the Senate size are not relevant to the issues now before the Panel. See id. at 18-19. Finally, the Senate Majority argues that, in any event, the documents and information sought are protected against compelled disclosure by an absolute legislative privilege. See id. at 19-24.
In a reply filed on July 2, 2012, the Senate Minority counters that the issue of the Senate size is "not just relevant but central" to the instant case, see 7/2/12 Senate Minority Reply at 1; that Senator Skelos caused the 2012 Carvin Memorandum to be posted on the LATFOR website "to give reviewing courts . . . the false impression that the decision to add a 63rd district was based in good-faith on his counsel's legal advice," see id. at 4; that the legal advice contained in the 2012 Carvin Memorandum was the "centerpiece of the Senate Majority's defense in Cohen," see id. at 5, and "will be at the center of the Senate Majority's defense in this case," see id. at 6; and that in these circumstances, fairness counsels in favor of allowing the Senate Minority to investigate the "real legal advice" that attorney Carvin provided to the Senate Majority. See id. at 10 (emphasis in original). Finally, the Senate Minority notes that the Senate Majority failed to offer "any evidence supporting [its] conclusory assertion" that the 2012 Carvin Memorandum was not intended to be confidential. See id. at 3.
1. Attorney-Client Privilege
"The attorney-client privilege protects confidential communications between client and counsel made for the purpose of obtaining or providing legal assistance." In re Cnty. of Erie, 473 F.3d 413, 418 (2d Cir. 2007) ("Erie I") (citing United States v. Constr. Prods. Research, Inc., 73 F.3d 464, 473 (2d Cir. 1996)). The attorney-client privilege "exists for the purpose of encouraging full and truthful communications between an attorney and his client and 'recognizes that sound legal advice or advocacy serves public ends and that such advice or advocacy depends upon the lawyer's being fully informed by the client.'" In re von Bulow, 828 F.2d at 100 (citing Upjohn Co. v. United States, 449 U.S. 383, 389 (1981)). It is the burden of the proponent of the privilege to establish its applicability, and courts should construe assertions of privilege narrowly, sustaining the privilege "only where necessary to achieve its purpose." See Erie I, 473 F.3d at 418 (citing Fisher v. United States, 425 U.S. 391, 403 (1976); In re Grand Jury Proceedings, 219 F.3d 175, 182 (2d Cir. 2000)).
To substantiate a claim of attorney-client privilege, the proponent must establish three elements: "(1) a communication between client and counsel that (2) was intended to be and was in fact kept confidential, and (3) was made for the purpose of obtaining or providing legal advice." See Erie I, 473 F.3d at 419 (citing Constr. Prods. Research, 73 F.3d at 473). As relevant here, a communication intended for publication is "not intended to be confidential[,] . . . and therefore [is] not within the privilege." See Robbins & Myers, Inc. v. J.M. Huber Corp., 274 F.R.D. 63, 83-84 (W.D.N.Y. 2011) (citing, inter alia, In re von Bulow, 828 F.2d at 102; United States v. Tellier, 255 F.2d 441, 447 (2d Cir. 1958); 5 McCormick on Evidence § 91 at 408 (Kenneth S. Broun, 6th ed. 2006)); see also In re Chevron Corp., 650 F.3d 276, 290 (3d Cir. 2011) (stating that where "communications [are] not made 'in confidence[,]'. . . they [are] not privileged to begin with, and there [is] no privilege to waive by their disclosure."). And, in this Circuit, the publication of a non-confidential attorney-client communication does not create an inference that related communications or earlier drafts were similarly not intended to be confidential. See In re Grand Jury Subpoena Duces Tecum Dated Sept. 15, 1983, 731 F.2d 1032, 1037 (2d Cir. 1984). Lastly, in order for the attorney-client privilege to apply, "the predominant purpose" of the communication must be "to render or solicit legal advice." Erie I, 473 F.3d at 420 (citing United States v. Int'l Bus. Machs. Corp., 66 F.R.D. 206, 212 (S.D.N.Y. 1974)); see also id. at 421.
Even where the privilege does attach to a communication, "[a] client may . . . by his actions impliedly waive the privilege or consent to disclosure." In re von Bulow, 828 F.2d at 101 (citations omitted). It is well established in this Circuit that a party may not use the privilege as both a sword and a shield. See Bilzerian, 926 F.2d at 1292 (holding that "[a] defendant may not use the privilege to prejudice his opponent's case or to disclose some selected communications for self-serving purposes") (citing In re Von Bulow, 828 F.2d at 103). The question whether there has been an implied waiver is best "decided on a case-by-case basis, and depends primarily on the specific context in which the privilege is asserted." See In re Grand Jury Proceedings, 219 F.3d at 183; see also John Doe Co., 350 F.3d at 302 (citations omitted). To that end, courts have identified three related but slightly different species of implied waiver: "when a client testifies concerning portions of the attorney-client communication, . . . when a client places the attorney-client relationship directly at issue, . . . and when a client asserts reliance on an attorney's advice as an element of a claim or defense . . . ." See Erie II, 546 F.3d at 228 (quoting with approval Sedco Int'l S.A. v. Cory, 683 F.2d 1201, 1206 (8th Cir. 1982)). At issue here are the first and third forms of waiver.
First, courts have recognized that fairness counsels in favor of a subject-matter waiver where a party selectively discloses otherwise privileged communications in a manner that prejudices the opposing party in a litigation. See In re von Bulow, 828 F.2d at 101-02 ("[I]t has been established law for a hundred years that when the client waives the privilege by testifying about what transpired between her and her attorney, she cannot thereafter insist that the mouth of the attorney be shut. From that has grown the rule that testimony as to part of a privileged communication, in fairness, requires production of the remainder.") (citations omitted). To effectuate a waiver, the selective disclosure must have occurred in an adversarial context, i.e., one that has the potential to cause legal prejudice to the proponent's adversary. See John Doe Co., 350 F.3d at 306; In re von Bulow, 828 F.2d at 102 ("[W]e hold therefore that the extra-judicial disclosure of an attorney-client communication -- one not subsequently used by the client in a judicial proceeding to his adversary's prejudice -- does not waive the privilege as to the undisclosed portions of the communication."); see also In re Kidder Peabody Secs. Litig., 168 F.R.D. 459, 470 (S.D.N.Y. 1996) (finding a waiver where defendant "made the invocation of [an attorney-drafted investigative] report and its conclusions a leitmotif of its approach both in judicial fora and in other 'judicial'-type contexts").
Second, courts have held that "the privilege may implicitly be waived" or forfeited, on a subject-matter basis, "when [a] defendant asserts a claim that in fairness requires examination of protected communications." See Bilzerian, 926 F.2d at 1292 (citations omitted). For example, a forfeiture may result when a party, in pressing an element of its claim or defense, places in issue the advice of counsel or, more broadly, "'when a party uses an assertion of fact to influence the decisionmaker while denying its adversary access to privileged material potentially capable of rebutting the assertion.'" See Erie II, 546 F.3d at 229 (quoting John Doe Co., 350 F.3d at 306); OneBeacon Ins. Co. v. Forman Int'l Ltd., No. 04 Civ. 2271(RWS), 2006 WL 3771010, at *10 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 15, 2006); Falise v. Am. Tobacco Co., 193 F.R.D. 73, 84 (E.D.N.Y. 2000); Bowne of N.Y. City, Inc. v. AmBase Corp., 150 F.R.D. 465, 488 (S.D.N.Y. 1993). Although an advice-of-counsel defense will not result in forfeiture unless the proponent relies on privileged advice, see Erie II, 546 F.3d at 229, courts within this Circuit, relying on Bilzerian, have reaffirmed the broader principle that forfeiture of the privilege may result where the proponent asserts a good faith belief in the lawfulness of its actions, even without expressly invoking counsel's advice. See MBIA Ins. Corp. v. Patriarch Partners VIII, LLC, No. 09 Civ. 3255, 2012 WL 2568972, at *7 (S.D.N.Y. July 3, 2012) (citing Arista Records, LLC v. Lime Grp., LLC, No 06 Civ. 5936(KMW), 2011 WL 1642434, at *2-3 (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 20, 2011) (quoting approvingly Leviton Mfg. Co. v. Greenberg Traurig LLP, No. 09 Civ. 8083(GBD)(THK), 2010 WL 4983183, at *3 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 6, 2010))). "In sum, . . . 'it would be unfair for a party asserting contentions [of good faith] to then rely on its privileges to deprive its adversary of access to material that might disprove or undermine the party's contentions.'" Arista Records, 2011 WL 1642434, at *3 (alterations in original) (quoting Newsmarkets Partners, LLC v. Sal. Oppenheim Jr. & Cie. S.C.A., 258 F.R.D. 95, 106 (S.D.N.Y. 2009)).
2. Work Product Protection
The work product protection, as partially codified in Rule 26(b)(3) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, is a qualified privilege for "documents and tangible things that are prepared in anticipation of litigation or for trial by or for another party or its representative." See Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(3)(A); see also United States v. Nobles, 422 U.S. 225, 237-38 (1975); United States v. Ghavami, No. 10 Cr. 1217(KMW)(JCF), 2012 WL 2090800, at *4 (S.D.N.Y. June 5, 2012). The work product protection also extends to "intangible work product," including "an attorney's analysis made in anticipation of litigation, but which has not been memorialized." See Ghavami, 2012 WL 2090800, at *5 (citing Hickman v. Taylor, 329 U.S. 495, 505, 509-11 (1947)).
The work product protection is "'distinct from and broader than the attorney-client privilege,'" see In re Grand Jury Proceedings, 219 F.3d at 190 (quoting Nobles, 422 U.S. at 238 & n.11), and encompasses both "opinion" work product and "fact" work product, the former relating to the mental impressions of counsel and the latter relating to factual investigations and technical analyses. See In re Grand Jury Subpoena Dated July 6, 2005, 510 F.3d 180, 183 (2d Cir. 2007) (citing In re Grand Jury Subpoena Dated Oct. 22, 2001, 282 F.3d 156, 161 (2d Cir. 2002); United States v. Adlman, 134 F.3d 1194, 1197 (2d Cir. 1998)). However, even some work product that is "factual" on its face may fall within the rubric of "opinion" work product if it is the result of the "selective judgment" of counsel. See SEC v. Nadel, No. CV 11-215(WFK)(AKT), 2012 WL 1268297, at *7 (E.D.N.Y. Apr. 16, 2012) (quoting SEC v. Sentinel Mgmt. Grp., Inc., No. 07 C 4684, 2010 WL 4977220, at *9 (N.D. Ill. Dec. 2, 2010)); see also Upjohn, 449 U.S. at 400.
The proponent of the privilege bears the "heavy burden" to establish its existence. See In re Grand Jury Subpoena Dated July 6, 2005, 510 F.3d at 183. A document is prepared in anticipation of litigation, and therefore entitled to work product protection, "if in light of the nature of the document and the factual situation in the particular case, the document can fairly be said to have been prepared or obtained because of the prospect of litigation." See Adlman, 134 F.3d at 1202 (citations and internal alterations omitted). In order to successfully invoke the enhanced protection for opinion work product, the proponent has the added burden of demonstrating "'a real, rather than speculative, concern' that the [work product] will reveal counsel's thought processes 'in relation to pending or anticipated litigation.'" See In re Grand Jury Subpoena Dated July 6, 2005, 510 F.3d at 183-84 (quoting In re Grand Jury Subpoenas Dated Mar. 19, 2002 & Aug. 2, 2002, 318 F.3d 379, 386 (2d Cir. 2003)).
Even where the applicability of the protection has been established, fact work product "may be ordered disclosed upon a showing of substantial need," while opinion work product "is entitled to virtually absolute protection." See Ghavami, 2012 WL 2090800, at *5 (citations omitted); see also P. & B. Marina, Ltd. P'ship v. Logrande, 136 F.R.D. 50, 57 (E.D.N.Y. 1991) (Weinstein, J.), aff'd, 983 F.2d 1047 (2d Cir. 1992). Specifically, a party seeking discovery may obtain materials constituting fact work product when it can show that the materials at issue are "otherwise discoverable under Rule 26(b)(1)" and that that party "has a substantial need for the materials to prepare its case and cannot, without undue hardship, obtain their substantial equivalent by other means." See Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(3). However, even where fact work product is discoverable, courts "must protect against disclosure of the mental impressions, conclusions, opinions, or legal theories of a party's attorney or other representative concerning the litigation." See Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(3)(B). Thus, courts in this Circuit have required a "highly persuasive showing" of need to overcome assertions of opinion work product protection. See In re Grand Jury Proceedings, 219 F.3d at 190-91 (quoting Adlman, 134 F.3d at 1204); Nadel, 2012 WL 1268297, at *6 (citing Upjohn, 449 U.S. at 401; United States v. Jacques Dessange, Inc., No. S2 99 CR 1182 DLC, 2000 WL 310345, at *2 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 27, 2000)); Gruss v. Zwirn, 276 F.R.D. 115, 127 (S.D.N.Y. 2011) (citing Allied Irish Banks v. Bank of Am., N.A., 240 F.R.D. 96, 105 (S.D.N.Y. 2007)).
As is the case with the attorney-client privilege, a party may waive the work product protection on a subject-matter basis. See The Shinnecock Indian Nation v. Kempthorne, 652 F.Supp.2d 345, 365-66 (E.D.N.Y. 2009). However, "courts generally permit discovery of work product based on implied or subject-matter waiver only where the privileged communications have been put at issue or when the defendant seeks to exploit the doctrine for a purpose inconsistent with the privilege." See id. (collecting cases). Further, in order to constitute a waiver, the "disclosure must substantially increase the opportunities for potential adversaries to obtain the information." See Ghavami, 2012 WL 2090800, at *5 (quoting United States v. Stewart, 287 F.Supp.2d 461, 468 (S.D.N.Y. 2003)) (citations and internal alterations omitted).
Several of the plaintiffs to this litigation have challenged the sufficiency of the defendants' assertions of privilege, and/or have requested an in camera inspection by the Court to assess the validity of the claims of privilege. See supra pp. 27-29. The Court addresses those issues in Parts II and III below. This section considers the argument advanced by the Senate Minority, and joined by the Lee Intervenors, that the publication of the 2012 Carvin Memorandum worked a forfeiture of the attorney-client privilege and work product protection with respect to all materials concerning the determination of the size of the Senate following the 2010 Census.
As a preliminary matter, the Senate Majority does not invoke either the attorney-client privilege or work product protection with respect to the 2012 Carvin Memorandum. Instead, it argues that the document was never intended to be kept confidential, and that therefore the attorney-client privilege does not apply and the publication of the memorandum does not result in a subject-matter waiver. See 6/25/12 Senate Majority Opp. at 8. In support of this argument, the Senate Majority notes that the memorandum was posted on the LATFOR website the day after it was drafted, and was intended to serve as a "public explanation . . . of the methodology used to determine the size of the Senate for the Senate Plan." See id. (emphasis in original). This was done, the Senate Majority states, "in the interest of promoting open government and transparency in redistricting." See id. at 2.
The Senate Majority's assertion of non-confidentiality is consistent with public statements made by Senator Nozzolio (a member of the Senate Majority) soon after the publication of the 2012 Carvin Memorandum. Specifically, at a January 10, 2012 LATFOR public meeting, Senator Nozzolio, faced with a challenge from Senator Martin Malave Dilan (also a defendant and LATFOR member, and a member of the Senate Minority), described the origins of the memorandum:
SENATOR DILAN: I want to know how last Friday at 5:00 p.m. in a very obscure spot of the LATFOR Senate website a new policy memo appears without ratification of this panel. I want to know how that happens and who authorized that. I would like to know if that attorney is a staff member of LATFOR or is he an outside consultant.
SENATOR NOZZOLIO: Senator Dilan, you're referring to a memo from an attorney named Michael [Carvin] who has been retained by this task force as -- he was retained by this task force in 2002 and in 1992 and it's my understanding that Attorney [Carvin] placed a memo after analyzing the tenets of the New York State [C]onstitution and of which it was his responsibility as counsel to this task force to -- that that report or analysis, if you will, just as he made an analysis in 2002, was placed on the task force [web site] in the same protocols that were established 10 years ago. . . . It's my understanding that the attorney for this task force placed -- in placing his memo on the LATFOR website and analyzed [alternative proposals] and dealt with them in his memorandum. His recommendation is based on his analysis of the New York State [C]onstitution. . . . It was done by the attorney and that analysis was placed for the public to review on the LATFOR website. Whether it was 5:00 or -- at night or 5:00 in the morning, it was placed on the website when it was completed and that analysis is for everyone to review.
See Tr. of Pub. LATFOR Hr'g (Jan. 10, 2012) at 16-18 (emphasis added), Ex. 2 to Decl. of Senator Martin Malave Dilan (July 2, 2012) ("Dilan Decl."), DE #427-1.
Although the Senate Majority's assertion that the 2012 Carvin
Memorandum was intended for public review is contained in an unsworn
memorandum of law and is unsupported by any affidavits, the
circumstances surrounding the publication of the memorandum, including
the aforesaid discussion at the public LATFOR meeting, support the
claim of non-confidentiality. To be sure, some indicia on the face of
the document tend to point in the opposite direction.*fn10
Nevertheless, where, as here, the would-be proponent of the
privilege declines to assert it over a document that the client
published almost immediately after its creation, there appears to be
no reason in law or logic to require the "proponent" to "prove the
negative" -- i.e., to offer proof of non-confidentiality.
As the 2012 Carvin Memorandum was not privileged, its posting on the LATFOR website cannot be said to constitute a selective waiver of the attorney-client privilege or work product protection. Nevertheless, a subject-matter waiver by forfeiture can occur even in the absence of disclosure of privileged communications.*fn11 Here, the Senate Minority does not contend that the Senate Majority has asserted an advice-of-counsel defense. Rather, it argues that the 2012 Carvin Memorandum was the "centerpiece of the Senate Majority's defense in Cohen" and "will be at the center of the Senate Majority's defense in this case." See 7/2/12 Senate Minority Mem. at 5-6 (emphasis added). The Senate Minority's waiver argument assumes a litigation strategy that its opponent has not yet pursued in this case. Accordingly, the Court denies the motion to compel without prejudice to a renewed motion in the event the Senate Minority's prediction proves to be accurate.
II. Motion for a Protective Order: Legislative Privilege
On June 18, 2012, the Senate Majority, Assembly Majority, and Assembly Minority each filed motions for protective orders to prevent the compelled disclosure of documents and information covered by the legislative privilege. See 6/18/12 Assembly Majority Mem.; 6/18/12 Senate Majority Mem.; 6/18/12 Assembly Minority Mem. For the reasons stated below, the Court defers decision on the defendants' motions pending its completion of an in camera review of withheld documents.
The Court begins its analysis with a discussion of the factual context in which the claims of privilege arise. The parties have submitted multiple declarations to provide the Court with an overview of the structure and operations of LATFOR.*fn12 See Decl. of Debra A. Levine-Schellace (Apr. 27, 2012) ("4/27/12 Levine-Schellace Decl."), Ex. A to 4/27/12 Geremia Decl., DE #336-1; Decl. of Roman Hedges in Supp. of the Assembly Majority Defendants' Mot. for a Protective Order on the Ground of Legislative Privilege (June 18, 2012) ("6/18/12 Hedges Decl."), DE #393-1; Dilan Decl. From these submissions, a few core facts emerge.
LATFOR was established pursuant to Chapter 45 of the New York State Laws of 1978, and "has all of the powers of a legislative committee." See 4/27/12 Levine-Schellace Decl. ¶¶ 2-3 (citing N.Y. Legis. Law § 83-m). LATFOR is comprised of six members, including four legislator appointees and two non-legislator appointees.*fn13 See N.Y. Legis. Law § 83-m(2).*fn14 The two current Co-Chairs of LATFOR, Senator Nozzolio and Assemblyman McEneny, also jointly employ a staff to assist with the performance of the task force's operations, and such employees "are considered employees of the legislature for all purposes." See 4/27/12 Levine-Schellace Decl. ¶¶ 2, 4 (citing N.Y. Legis. Law § 83-m(4), (12)).
By statute, LATFOR's responsibilities include "engag[ing] in such activities as its Co-Chairs deem necessary or appropriate in . . . assisting the Legislature in preparing and formulating reapportionment plans," and "hold[ing] public and private hearings in connection with proposed reapportionment plans for the [S]enate, [A]ssembly, and [C]ongressional districts in New York."*fn15 See 4/27/12 Levine-Schellace Decl. ¶ 3 (citing N.Y. Legis. Law § 83-m(3), (10)); 6/18/12 Hedges Decl. ¶ 2 (citing N.Y. Legis. Law § 83-m(3)).
To carry out its duties, LATFOR functions for eight years out of every decade as a non-partisan body, collecting and storing election data in computerized databases and working with data from the U.S. Census Bureau. See 4/27/12 Levine-Schellace Decl. ¶ 5 (citing N.Y. Legis. Law § 83-m(1)(a) & (c)); 6/18/12 Hedges Decl. ¶ 3. However, after each decennial Census, LATFOR establishes four separate partisan redistricting offices, one each for the Senate Majority, Senate Minority, Assembly Majority, and Assembly Minority. See 4/27/12 Levine-Schellace Decl. ¶ 5; 6/18/12 Hedges Decl. ¶ 3. In the current redistricting cycle, the four separate offices were reportedly established in April 2011. See 4/27/12 Levine-Schellace Decl. ¶ 6; 6/18/12 Hedges Decl. ¶¶ 4, 6.
It it undisputed that the 2012 Senate Plan "was developed exclusively
within the Senate
[M]ajority redistricting office of LATFOR." See 4/27/12
Levine-Schellace Decl. ¶ 7. The drafters of the 2012 Senate Plan are
"employees of LATFOR and work[ed] exclusively for the Senate
[M]ajority redistricting office during the time that they draft[ed]
the plan," id. ¶ 5, "work[ing] exclusively under the direction of
Senate Majority Leader Skelos, LATFOR Co-Chair Senator Nozzolio, and
Senators Skelos' and Nozzolio's Senate staff." Id. ¶ 7.*fn16
And, while drafting the plan, the mapmakers "consulted with various
Republican Senators --including Senate Majority Leader Skelos and
Chairman Nozzolio[,]" and received "input from the public and from the
Senate [M]inority." See id.*fn17
With respect to the drafting of the 2012 Assembly Plan, Dr. Roman Hedges, a defendant and LATFOR member, states that "beginning in April 2011, [he] worked out of a separate Assembly Majority redistricting office located in the Alfred E. Smith State Office Building in Albany, New York." See 6/18/12 Hedges Decl. ¶ 6. He further notes that, while formulating the plan, he and his staff "began to work exclusively with the Democrats . . . in connection with their formulation of a 2012 redistricting plan." See id. ¶ 7. Moreover, "[his] communications with and assistance to the Democratic Assembly members and staff [were] kept confidential from the other members of LATFOR who were working with either the Senate Majority, Senate Minority or Assembly Minority in assisting them with formulating 2012 Redistricting Plans[,]" and "their dealings with the groups they were working with were not shared with [him] or [his] staff." See id.
Lastly, it is clear that, apart from the four partisan redistricting offices, LATFOR continued to maintain, after the creation of the partisan LATFOR offices, an independent "technical staff," whose members performed work that was separate from the partisan offices and yet was related to both the Assembly and Senate redistricting processes. See LATFOR Emails, Bates Nos. Senate Minority ("SM") 0001-0273, Ex. 2 to Decl. of Eric Hecker in Opp. to Senate Majority Mot. for a Protective Order (July 2, 2012) ("7/2/12 Hecker Decl."), DE #428-1.
B. The Parties' Submissions
In the lead brief filed in support of a protective order, the Senate Majority claims an absolute privilege against the disclosure of documents or information concerning the legislative activities of legislators or their staffs. See 6/18/12 Senate Majority Mem. at 4-12. In short, the Senate Majority argues that because the Supreme Court has held that the Speech or Debate Clause of the United States Constitution, see U.S. Const., Art. I § 6, affords federal lawmakers an absolute protection against liability and compelled discovery and testimony, and because courts have held that the federal constitutional immunity is "on a parity" with the state legislative common law analogue in (non-discovery) civil contexts, see State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition v. ...