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​Privileges and Protections from Disclosure

In American civil litigation, all parties (including the government and private parties) are given privileges or protections that exempt certain documents from disclosure to litigation adversaries and/or the general public. These include the attorney-client privilege and the attorney work product doctrine. Documents can also be limited to viewing by the parties in a case and withheld from widespread dissemination if the documents contain confidential or trade secret commercially valuable information or if it disclose private information on an individual.

U.S District Court Order #1015 does not require the Defendants to post images of documents as to which they continue to claim a privilege, trade secret, or protection against discovery.

    14. This Final Judgment and Remedial Order does not require any Defendant to place on its Internet Document Website or in the Minnesota Depository documents that: (1) it continues to claim to be privileged or a trade secret in the document's entirety, or (2) continue to be subject in the document's entirety to any protective order, sealing order or other order or ruling that prevents or limits that Defendant from disclosing such documents...

United States v. Philip Morris USA, Inc., et al., II(C.)(14.).

The subset of documents that are responsive to requests as agreed upon or ordered but withheld from adversaries in litigation on the basis of a legal privilege or protection (e.g., attorney-client privilege or attorney work product doctrine) is usually placed on an index commonly known as a "privilege log."

  • Notwithstanding the provisions of U.S. District Court Order #1015, there are images of documents on the website as to which Reynolds maintains privilege but that a court has ordered to be posted on the website. Such documents are marked with a legend that states that the document is on the website as a result of a compelled production.
  • While images of certain privileged documents are not available on this website, those document records are searchable under the RJRT Privilege Index Collection.​