Chen-Oster v. Goldman, Sachs

U.S. DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
Evidence

, New York Law Journal

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Magistrate Judge James Francis

Three female financial-services employees at Goldman, Sachs & Co. alleged the company had engaged in a pattern of gender discrimination. In particular, they claimed they were discriminated against in evaluation, compensation, and promotion. In a prior opinion, the court determined that the information from certain of Goldman Sachs' human resources databases was relevant to the issues in this case. At issue now was whether the Diversity Objects fields in the company's compensation recommendation database was privileged non-discoverable information. The court found Goldman Sachs made a prima facie showing that the information was shared only with members of an employment law group who work with lawyers' direction to collect facts for those lawyers' review, and that the lawyers used this information exclusively to provide legal advice. Accordingly, the court concluded that the Diversity Objects information was protected by the attorney-client privilege. Thus plaintiffs' application for an order compelling Goldman Sachs to disclose information relating to the Diversity Objects fields was denied without prejudice to renewal if and when plaintiffs were able to proffer evidence that would negate Goldman Sachs' claim of privilege.

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