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HGS Protects Important Non-Party Privileges In Recent Litigation Discovery

Posted Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

Data Targeting, Inc., a political polling and research firm represented by Hopping Green and Sams (HGS) attorneys Kent Safriet and Thomas Philpot, recently secured an order of the Special Master in Romo, et al. v. Detzner, et al. (Case No. 2012 CA 00412, Leon County Circuit Court), recommending that the Circuit Judge find that Data Targeting has met the necessary showing for protection of its associational privilege under the U.S. Constitution.  Since November 2012, Data Targeting has been asserting its rights as a non-party in the litigation, including a recent in-camera review in which the Special Master considered Data Targeting’s arguments to protect the associational rights of its employees and other members as well as the propriety of its trade secret information contained in private business records, which plaintiffs have sought to discover by broadly extending the reach of its discovery subpoenas.  HGS argued that discovery of the records sought to be protected would, among other things, chill the free expression of Data Targeting with its employees, clients, and partners, and consequently impact the economic interests of the firm.  The Special Master agreed, and in its Order on October 14, 2013, found that Data Targeting had successfully shown that the disclosure would cause a chilling effect on political expression and association, and further that no compelling need by the requesting parties had been shown to deny the privilege to Data Targeting.  The recommendation of the Special Master is now pending action by the Circuit Court.

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