The Trials and Tribulations of Providing Legal Advice in Electronic Form: Email Trail Contradicts Testimony of White House Official re Federal Prosecutor Firings

As lawyers prepare a witness for deposition or trial testimony, one must be certain to have a full understanding of what the witness may or may not have said in the context of email communications. Lawyers also give more and more legal advice in the body of emails. If you say something in email, do so with an expectation that could come back to haunt you.

Just ask Kyle Sampson, the former White House aide. He had tesified that the Justice Department did not propose replacements before firing federal prosecutors. But his email to former White House counsel, dated January 9, 2006, shows that he did suggest replacements for Margaret Chiara (Grand Rapids), Kevin Ryan (San Francisco), Carol Lam (San Diego) and H.E. Cummins II (Little Rock).

The circumstances surrounding the firings of federal prosecutors is a high profile example of what is happening with e-discovery everywhere. Witness and trial preparation have changeth forever more….

Here is a copy of the related article from The New York Times and the email in question..

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