7th Circuit: Emails Between Justice Department Sections Are Protected Work Product

CHICAGO - Emails and memos exchanged between two sections of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in charge of enforcing environmental laws and defending the government in suits brought under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) over the terms of a consent decree with companies over the cleanup of a Superfund site in Wisconsin are protected by the work product doctrine, a panel of the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 20, holding that the sections are not adversaries because they are still acting on behalf of the federal government (Menasha Corporation, et al. v. United States Department of Justice, No. 12-1720, 7th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 3521).

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