{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "How do I handle a partner asking me to mark absolutely relevant and non-privileged documents which really harm our case as non-responsive during discovery? At the end of the day I know he’s the one who’d need to deal with the consequences, but feel like I’m being put in an uncomfortable position as a first-year associate", "post_id": "61097e94513f80002011f545", "reply_count": 5, "vote_count": 3, "bowl_id": "552d1d24dc1c586b09d2d052", "bowl_name": "Law" }

How do I handle a partner asking me to mark absolutely relevant and non-privileged documents which really harm our case as non-responsive during discovery? At the end of the day I know he’s the one who’d need to deal with the consequences, but feel like I’m being put in an uncomfortable position as a first-year associate

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Send him an email regarding not understanding the designation and ask if he has time for a call to explain. Save that email. If it someday comes to light, you will come across as the inexperienced first year who followed orders. Our field occasionally gets people who don’t have two ounces of integrity to rub together. This won’t be the last time someone asks you to do something stupid and bad for your career.

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First, ask for an explanation of why they’re non-responsive. Do it under the guise of wanting to understand so that you can identify non-responsive documents while you’re reviewing in the future. It’s possible that the documents aren’t responsive to the current discovery requests (yet). If the explanation isn’t something like that… do you have anyone more senior than you on the case? Or a mentor? Because I’d want to ask someone else within the firm how to handle the situation.

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I’m not in litigation or the US so just curious - I would have assumed in the UK you would be just as culpable as the partner if you knowingly mark stuff incorrectly. Is it different in the States? There’s some really good advice in the comments which should resolve your problem but I would just be cautious about assuming “he’s the one who’d need to deal with the consequences” as I worry it would actually be both of you.

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Oof. Following because I went through this once and fortunately was able to convince him to mark them responsive, but honestly don’t know what I would have done if I couldn’t get him to come around.

Create a paper trail of him telling you how to mark them. Then mark them that way and forget about it.

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