A U.S. federal judge hearing a government no-confidence motion against Alphabet Google on Friday said he was not sure if he had the power to authorize the company to make excessive use of attorney-client privileges if that happened before the lawsuit was filed.
The department told Judge Amit Mehta in a lawsuit filed in the court seeking Google’s approval that the company’s “Communicate with Care” program, which asks employees to add a lawyer to many emails, was sometimes a “game” to keep in touch. Under the Attorney-Client Privilege. Google has responded that it did nothing wrong.
Mehta, a U.S. District Court judge for the District of Columbia, said there were 140,000 “eye-popping” documents that originally fell under the attorney-client privilege but 98,000 or so were quickly handed over to the government. But he also said he was “not convinced that a federal court has jurisdiction” to approve the practice as it happened before the government filed the lawsuit.
Google’s attorney in the case, John Schmidtlin, said 21,000 emails were still in issue.
Judiciary lawyer Kenneth Dintzer said Google would be allowed to practice and launch 21,000 emails. He argued that the practice had cost the government valuable time to consolidate the case.
The judiciary filed a lawsuit against Google in 2020, alleging that it violated the no-confidence motion in conducting its search business. The trial was scheduled for September 2023.
Thomson Reuters 2022