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Burlington Indus. v. Exxon Corp.

United States District Court for the District of Maryland

October 21, 1974

Civ. A. No. 72-1014-M

Opinion

 [***652]   [*32]  JAMES R. MILLER, Jr., District Judge.

Defendant Exxon Corporation (Exxon) has moved to compel discovery pursuant to Rule 37, F.R.Civ.P. Exxon's motion arises from an action filed by the plaintiff alleging generally that Exxon has infringed plaintiff's patent. Plaintiff seeks to withhold many of the numerous documents sought by Exxon, claiming that the documents are privileged and thus immune from discovery. Pursuant to a court order of September 24, 1973, plaintiff has classified approximately 720 documents which it claims are privileged into 17 categories (Paper No. 45). According to plaintiff, its claims of privilege are made in response [**2]  to Exxon's interrogatories 269, 270, 271, 272, 273, 274, 275, 276, and 277 (Paper No. 45).

This court had determined, with the agreement of counsel, to appoint a master to appraise the applicability of plaintiff's claims of privilege to the numerous documents. The legal criteria to be used by the master in making his recommendations to the court shall be in accordance with the general principles herein set forth.

The master shall examine in camera such of the contested documents as he shall believe it necessary to examine in order to perform his responsibilities. To the extent that the master deems it appropriate to do so under the principles set forth herein, he may recommend the excision of parts of documents which he finds to be privileged whereas other parts are found by him to be discoverable. In the event the master determines that some or all of those documents which he recommends be produced should be produced only subject to a protective order under Rule 26(c), F.R.Civ.P., the master shall recommend to the court the terms of such protective order.

I. The Attorney-Client Privilege and the Work Product Doctrine in General

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65 F.R.D. 26 *; 1974 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6188 **; 184 U.S.P.Q. (BNA) 651 ***; 19 Fed. R. Serv. 2d (Callaghan) 533

BURLINGTON INDUSTRIES v. EXXON CORPORATION and Amtech, Inc.

CORE TERMS

patent, communications, attorney-client, documents, work product doctrine, patent office, legal advice, work product, privileged, discovery, disclosure, confidential communication, confidential, cases, proceedings, anticipation of litigation, infringement, settlement, disclose, preparation, immunity, misuse, patent application, waived, legal assistance, correspondence, negotiations, licensing, parties, public interest

Civil Procedure, Discovery, Privileged Communications, General Overview, Evidence, Privileges, Attorney-Client Privilege, Legal Ethics, Client Relations, Duties to Client, Duty of Confidentiality, Waiver, Work Product Doctrine, Methods of Discovery, Pleading & Practice, Motion Practice, Supporting Memoranda, Attorneys, Patent Law, Damages, Collateral Assessments, Attorney Fees, Antitrust & Trade Law, Intellectual Property, Bad Faith, Fraud & Nonuse, Fraud, Business & Corporate Compliance, Defenses, Inequitable Conduct, Anticompetitive Conduct, Effect, Materiality & Scienter, Ownership, Patents as Property, Elements, US Patent & Trademark Office Proceedings, Examinations, Specifications, Definiteness, Filing Requirements, Scope, Exceptions, Infringement Actions, Misuse, Inspection & Production Requests, Trials, Jury Trials, Province of Court & Jury, Fraudulent Procurement of Patent, Interference Proceedings, Discovery & Disclosure, Waiver of Protections, Settlements