SIMPSON v. CITY OF INDIANAPOLIS et al
ORDER ON DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO QUASH AND FOR A PROTECTIVE ORDER: Defendants have waived any privilege associated with Kramer's opinion. The Court rejects Defendants' suggestion that Kramer's deposition would be superfluous. Kram er must be produced for a deposition, and Defendants must produce documents as outlined above. Defendants' motion to quash and for protective order [Filing No. 35] is denied ***SEE ORDER FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION***. Signed by Magistrate Judge Tim A. Baker on 6/6/2014. (DW)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
CITY OF INDIANAPOLIS and
ORDER ON DEFENDANTS’ MOTION TO QUASH
AND FOR A PROTECTIVE ORDER
Plaintiff wants to depose former Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department counsel
Melissa Kramer concerning legal advice she gave regarding an Indiana statute that lies at the
heart of this case. Ordinarily, such advice would be shielded on grounds of privilege. However,
Office of Corporation Counsel, which represents Defendants, has put Defendants in a bind.
Corporation Counsel produced a transcribed copy of Kramer’s legal opinion of the statute
to Plaintiff’s counsel in prior litigation involving the City of Indianapolis. While this production
apparently was inadvertent, Corporation Counsel never asked Plaintiff’s counsel to return the
document after the production came to light. In fact, Corporation Counsel allowed Plaintiff’s
counsel to question the city’s designated representative about this legal advice during a
deposition in that prior litigation.
Accordingly, the unmistakable conclusion is that Defendants have waived any privilege
associated with Kramer’s opinion. This raises the question of the scope of that waiver.
Defendants contend Kramer’s deposition would be “superfluous” given that her opinion is fully
contained in the inadvertently produced document. [Filing No. 41, at ECF p. 6.] The Court
disagrees. Plaintiff is entitled to take Kramer’s deposition and to obtain documents related to
this subject matter. The permissible parameters of this discovery are outlined below.
Accordingly, Defendants’ motion to quash and for protective order [Filing No. 35] is denied.
Defendant Andrew McKalip, an IMPD officer, arrested Plaintiff Joseph Simpson June 3,
2012, after Simpson allegedly refused to leave his neighbor’s house where McKalip was
investigating a possible burglary. Simpson was charged with refusing to leave the scene of an
emergency incident area under the Interference with a Firefighter chapter of Indiana Code
Section 35-44-1-4-5, and resisting law enforcement. Simpson seeks to depose Kramer who in a
prior case, King v. City of Indianapolis,1 provided her legal opinion concerning whether the
Interference with a Firefighter statute applied to law enforcement. Kramer’s transcribed
statement was mistakenly turned over to King’s counsel in King’s case as part of the Internal
Affairs file. King’s counsel is also Simpson’s counsel in the present matter. Defendants claim
Kramer’s statement is privileged and that they were unaware that Simpson’s counsel had
Kramer’s statement in his possession.
The attorney-client privilege attaches when legal advice is sought from an attorney in her
capacity as an attorney and any communications between the client and her attorney or attorney’s
agent were germane to that purpose and made confidentially. See United States v. Lawless, 709
F.2d 485, 487 (7th Cir. 1983); F.D.I.C. v. Fidelity and Deposit Co. of Maryland, No. 3:11-cv-19-
In King v. City of Indianapolis, 1:11-cv-01727, Detective Kimberly Young conducted an
investigation of King’s formal complaint with the IMPD Internal Affairs Division after he was
arrested for violation Indiana Code section 35-44.1-1. Young sought Kramer’s advice on
whether Indiana Code section 35-44.1-1 pertained to police emergency scenes and recorded
Kramer’s statements. Young later transcribed the conversation as part of the Internal Affairs file.
RLY-WGH, 2013 WL 2421770, at *2 (S.D. Ind. June 3, 2013). Simpson argues that Kramer’s
statement does not fall under any privilege, but the Court disagrees. Kramer’s statement was
made when Young sought her advice concerning a statute that was part of an ongoing
investigation. Kramer did not know that her statement was recorded and transcribed, and it later
became the issue of a civil case. The attorney-client privilege attaches.2 Even so, the Court
agrees with Simpson that Defendants waived this privilege.
The first step of the waiver analysis is to determine if waiver exists. It does. For starters,
Kramer’s statement does not, by its own terms, indicate that it is made in confidence or subject
to retention of any privilege. [Filing No. 43.] More significant, Corporation Counsel turned
over Kramer’s detailed, ten-page statement to Simpson’s counsel in 2012. Since then,
Defendants’ counsel have made no attempt to prevent disclosure, retrieve, or destroy Kramer’s
statement. Corporation Counsel had an opportunity to assert privilege when Simpson’s counsel
in the King case deposed IMPD’s representative Michael Daley, showed him an exhibit
referencing Corporation Counsel’s legal opinion on the matter, and questioned him on the topic.
Yet Defendants’ counsel did not object to the exhibit or subsequent questioning and did not
assert an attorney-client privilege.
Only now―years later―when Simpson seeks to depose Kramer in a separate case do
Defendants take issue with the statement’s privileged status. Corporation Counsel’s failure to
take reasonable steps to prevent disclosure and the subsequent failure to promptly rectify
disclosure supports a finding of waiver. Fed. R. Evid. 502(b); Gilday v. Kenra, Ltd., No. 1:09cv-229-TWP-TAB, 2010 WL 3928593 (S.D. Ind. Oct. 4, 2010) (finding Kenra did not waive the
attorney-client privilege as it took reasonable steps to prevent disclosure by reviewing its
Defendants also assert the work product privilege applies. Ultimately, precisely which
privileges may apply are inconsequential given the Court’s finding of waiver.
documents for privilege before production, and Kenra attempted to rectify the disclosure by
moving for a protective order within nine days of the inadvertent disclosure).
Having found waiver, the issue becomes the proper scope of this waiver. Defendants
assert that if there is waiver, it “is not carte-blanche for Plaintiff to depose Ms. Kramer with
respect to all communications she had concerning her legal interpretation of Indiana Code
section 35-44-4-5.” [Filing No. 41, at ECF p. 3.] The general standard for determining the scope
of a waiver of attorney-client privilege is that the waiver applies to all other communications
relating to the same subject matter. Telamon Corp. v. Charter Oak Fire Ins. Co., No. 1:13-cv382-RLY-DML, 2014 WL 202097, at *4 n.1 (S.D. Ind. Jan. 17, 2014). Defendants are correct
that subject matter waiver is limited to circumstances where the party intentionally puts protected
information into litigation in a selective, misleading, and unfair matter. However, the Court does
not agree with Defendants’ contention that Kramer’s legal interpretation of the Interference with
a Firefighter statute is fully contained in her statement and requires no further deposition. “The
waiver extends beyond the document initially produced out of concerns for fairness, so that a
party is prevented from disclosing communications that support its position while simultaneously
concealing communications that do not.” Rockies Express Pipeline LLC v. 58.6 Acres, No. 1:08cv-0751-RLY-DML, 2009 WL 5219025, at *6 (S.D. Ind. Dec. 31, 2009) (quoting Fort James
Corp. v. Solo Cup Co., 412 F.3d 1340, 1349 (Fed. Cir. 2005)).
In determining the scope of Defendants’ waiver, the Court must “weigh those demands of
our adversarial system of justice (that support the existence of the privilege in the first instance)
against equitable concerns that favor a broad waiver, i.e., the potential for manipulation of the
privilege through the use of sword and shield tactics, where favorable communications are
disclosed and less favorable ones are withheld.” Alloc, Inc. v. Pergo, LLC, No. 00-C-0999, 2010
WL 3808977, at *4 (E.D. Wisc. Sept. 23, 2010); Indiana Mills & Mfg., Inc. v. Dorel Industries,
Inc., No. 1:04-cv-01102-LJM-WTL, 2006 WL 1749410 (S.D. Ind. Feb. 16, 2006).
Based on the foregoing, the Court finds that Plaintiff is entitled to depose Kramer
concerning the subject matter provided in her legal opinion. Such a deposition necessarily
includes the bases for this opinion, the identities of any persons with whom Kramer shared this
opinion, and the substance of any conversations with those individuals regarding her opinion. In
addition, the waiver extends to any documents Kramer provided to, or received from, IMPD
regarding her opinion. This necessarily includes emails, and Kramer’s statement specifically
references at least two emails. The requirement that Defendants produce these documents is
supported not only for the reasons outlined above but also by the fact that Defendants failed to
identify any such documents in a privilege log. See E.E.O.C. v. Southlake Tri-City RBA Corp.
No. 2:10-cv-444, 2012 WL 839169, at *4 (N.D. Ind. Mar. 12, 2012) (“A timely and adequate
privilege log is required by the federal rules, and the failure to serve an adequate and timely
privilege log may result in a waiver of any protection from discovery.”); Ruwat v Navistar
Intern. Corp., No. 08C4305, 2011 WL 3876957, at* 3 (N.D. Ill. Sept. 1, 2011) (“Documents
which are withheld under a claim of privilege must be entered into a privilege log so that the
parties and Court can determine the propriety of the claim of privilege. A party’s failure to do so
can waive a privilege altogether.”). Thus, if such documents exist they must be produced.
Defendants have waived any privilege associated with Kramer’s opinion. The Court
rejects Defendants’ suggestion that Kramer’s deposition would be superfluous. Kramer must be
produced for a deposition, and Defendants must produce documents as outlined above.
Defendants’ motion to quash and for protective order [Filing No. 35] is denied.
Tim A. Baker
United States Magistrate Judge
Southern District of Indiana
R. Eric Sanders
CITY OF INDIANAPOLIS, CORPORATION COUNSEL
Alexander Phillip Will
FROST BROWN TODD LLC
Beth Ann Garrison
OFFICE OF CORPORATION COUNSEL
Richard A. Waples
WAPLES & HANGER
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