Friday, September 12, 2008

From Sen. Leahy's site:

The below [found here]

Leahy-Specter Bill To Amend Federal Rules
For Discovery Process Heads To President For Signature

WASHINGTON (Monday, September 08, 2008) – Legislation introduced by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Ranking Member Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) today passed the House of Representatives and is headed to the President’s desk to be signed into law. The bill amends the Federal Rules of Evidence (FRE) to address the inadvertent waiver of the attorney client-privilege. The bill passed the Senate in February.

The legislation establishes a new federal rule of evidence, FRE 502, which will help to minimize the costly and time consuming process of reviewing every e-mail and other document requested in discovery to ensure that there is no accidental disclosure of communications protected by the attorney-client or work-product privilege. The Leahy-Specter legislation has been examined and endorsed by the Judicial Conference’s Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure, and the Advisory Committee on Evidence Rules.

In recent years, the dramatic increase in the use of email and other electronic media has forced parties to spend billions of dollars and countless hours to guard against the unintentional release of privileged communications. Without rigorous, line-by-line examination of materials, parties risked waiving privilege not just on information contained in a single document, but also on any document that refers to the subject that would have been otherwise privileged.

“I’m pleased the House has now passed this important legislation,” said Leahy. “The process of discovery was antiquated for the information age. Inflating litigation costs and outsourcing the review of thousands of documents is simply not the answer. When enacted, this legislation will address the new realities of today’s lines of communication, and reduce the burdens associated electronic discovery. I hope the President will quickly sign this bill into law.”

“Current law on attorney-client privilege varies across jurisdiction, and is responsible in large part for the rising costs of discovery—especially electronic discovery,” Senator Specter said. “Right now, a single inadvertently disclosed document can result in waiving the privilege not only as to what was produced, but as to all documents on the same subject matter. Such waivers will not just affect the case in which the accidental disclosure is made, but could also apply in other cases filed subsequently in State or federal courts.”

The Leahy-Specter bill protects parties who take reasonable steps to review documents, and who ask for the return of inadvertently produced information in a timely manner. The legislation also gives federal judges the ability to enforce agreements between parties requiring the return of privileged communications inadvertently shared during discovery, and binds the parties to the agreement in future state and federal litigation involving the same material. Changes to rules modifying evidentiary privileges must be approved by Congress before they are made effective.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

5 May, 2006


Attached please find a letter and various email exchanges between Minneapolis based author Richard Hettler and US Attorney General John Ashcroft's office. General Ashcroft, since leaving office as this nation's chief cop, founded The Ashcroft Group, LLC, a Washington, DC based lobbying firm. Ashcroft's firm is headquartered in the District of Columbia at 1399 New York Ave NW. Its telephone number is 202 942-0202.

Richard Hettler, in April of 2006, contacted General Ashcroft because of an article written by Ashcroft on judicial corruption in our national bankruptcy courts. Mr. Ashcroft, in his two page article, reported comments of his to the Second Global Forum on Fighting Corruption. Said article is attached hereto for the information of the reader.

Hettler is one of tens of thousands of victims of the US bankruptcy courts. Hettler has been trying to get his money and property returned to him now for 12 years but thus far has been unsuccessful because of judicial corruption commented upon by General Ashcroft in his article. Asking corrupt judges to act honorably and do what they have been entrusted to do consistent with their oath to uphold this country's constitution, is simply not in the cards. After Hettler reported the embezzlement of his life estate to General Ashcroft first in 2000, Ashcroft "fired" Minnesota US Trustee Barbara Stuart because of her described criminal behavior in conjunction with criminal judges who were subsequently identified as criminal by the Minneapolis FBI. Hettler, because of such corruption, has never been allowed to have his property and money returned to him after three (3) criminal bankruptcy judges banded together to take and liquidate Hettler's property because a bankruptcy debtor had fraudulently declared Hettler's property as her own on her bankruptcy schedules. Said criminal judges even filed or refused to return such property after the bankruptcy debtor confessed to what she and her cronies had done. One of her cronies was Minneapolis-headquartered Thomas Petters who put the bankruptcy debtor [his business associate] up to claiming Hettler's promissory Notes made by Petters on her bankruptcy schedules. All of this including the uncontested evidence was taken to the FBI, where after the FBI told Hettler and US Senator Mark Dayton in December of 2001 that there were many corrupt judges in the Minnesota district as there were criminal US trustee personnel as well. When the FBI made these comments, Hettler asked Minneapolis FBI Special Agent Dan Miller why, if they knew all of this, why they simply would not lock these judges up as well as the criminals who petitioned for relief in their courts. Miller told Hettler and Dayton that it wasn't easy to lock up a judge and that was that. Hettler had described in great detail how bankruptcy thugs had worked with corrupt judges to take millions of dollars from he and his deceased brother reporting also that this was not simply an isolated instance of how these thugs were destroying eh lives of innocent individuals who had never been brought under the jurisdiction of the offending courts. Not only had Hettler's property been admittedly and unlawfully claimed and liquidated, and his only involvement with Petters business associate Ruth Kahn was as her creditor. She, like Petters, had a long-term pattern of borrowing money from people and never rapaying them. Hettler related to the FBI that others known to him had advised that colleagues of theirs had been murdered by such bankruptcy thugs for challenging the actions of such corrupt judges. In one instance, they murdered a lawyer who was on his way to meet with Department of Justice officials to supply testimony on bankruptcy fraud in the San Francisco area. Ashcroft's article didn't therefore simply touch Hettler and his case- it touched numerous other venues where bankruptcy judges were left free to destroy the lives of innocent people and embezzle their property at will.

It is this perpetual tolerance for such criminal acts on the part of bankruptcy judges which has taken and continues to take millions of dollars from Hettler, Fingerhut, Stay healthy, and now most recently Polaroid Holding Company. Numerous reports on this and other swindles have been reported to the Justice Department, first on Ashcroft's watch, and now more recently the Gonzales Administration. The agencies' failure or refusal to act has left an indelible life scar on Hettler and the tens of thousands of senior citizen victims all over the world. This is why Congressmen Delahunt and Meehan initially took the lead in asking Polaroid to police its own actions by honoring the Polaroid pensions which of course Polaroid officials simply trashed because of failed follow-through by the Massachusetts delegation.

The vast majority of this travesty surfaced in 2001 after two US Senators [Paul Wellstone and thereafter Mark Dayton worked with Hettler to arrange a meeting with the Minneapolis FBI in December of 2001 which led to the FBI's assertion to Hettler and Dayton that it was well known that there are many corrupt judges and US Trustee personnel in the Minnesota District. After Hettler brought this to the attention of Ashcroft, Ashcroft "fired" Minnesota US Trustee Barbara Stuart but failed to follow-through by prosecuting Stuart as well as the band of thugs with whom she worked to pull of this massive swindle.

Because Ashcroft did nothing other than "fire" a criminal US Trustee, this left the Minnesota principal bankruptcy thug Thomas Petters free to embezzle millions from Hettler and free to continue his reign of terror by first purchasing Fingerhut with money and property embezzled from Hettler, to loan hundreds of millions of dollars in cash embezzled from Hettler to Stay healthy at 45% annual interest rates, to purchased lavish corporate toys including Petters own Boeing 727 aircraft also with swindled cash, and more recently to purchase Polaroid for $426 million, also in swindled cash.

Hettler was hopeful that General Ashcroft would recognize the damage he did by failing to act remedially on his noted corruption among his bankruptcy judges, which is why Hettler asked Ashcroft to meet with him and to further assist by recommending certain individuals or agencies who are equipped to handle the aftermath of such unprosecuted corruption.

Instead, Ashcroft told Hettler in a 5 May email [attached] that he is unable to assist in any respect and is not able to meet to further discuss matters.

Had Ashcroft followed through after he "fired" Minnesota US Trustee Barbara Stuart, all of the damage which thereafter followed by allowing the bankruptcy thugs to continue swindling people including Hettler and the tens of thousands of ex-employees of Polaroid would never have evolved. N stead, we were all left impoverished as reported by Time Magazine in its 10-31-05 article entitled "The Great Retirement Rip-off", in various issues of CFO Magazine, and in the various and numerous articles written about in the Boston Globe.

Hettler has given up on the courts because they are corrupt as Ashcroft has duly noted and now will move ahead with prosecuting those civilly who have so egregiously and brazenly took millions of dollars in property from he and his deceased brother. This grand larceny committed by Petters and others with whom Petters corroborated to embezzle property from Hettler and the tens of thousands in the Massachusetts District can only be acted upon by criminal prosecutors who thus far have chosen to look the other way and this now includes this nations; past chief cop, John Ashcroft. Hettler's case has been referred ad nauseam by and to just about every criminal investigatory agency in this country, but ahs remained uninvestigated and prosecuted because investigating and prosecuting those who have been allowed to pull of these multiple swindles would indict the many corrupt judges who are apparently insulated from attack and above the law notwithstanding the recent comments by newly appointed Justice Alito to the US Supreme Court. So what are we left with- we are left with a nation of corporate criminals who prey on senior citizens to take their money and property and when such senior citizen lenders complain of defaulted payments by Petters, Petters and his army of lawyers march into court o prosecute such senior citizens for asking for redress. This actually happened to Hettler after he suffered a massive hemorrhagic stroke over this 12 year protracted matter. This is the end of civility which is precisely what the Ashcroft legacy has left us with.

The absolute worst criminal in this world is a corrupt judge- it's not Osama Bin Laden or a Ken Lay, it's an individual who is far worse than the worst vermin on earth. Corrupt judges are not thrown off the court or sent to jail, they are allowed to pontificate in perpetuity over their victims under a false cloak of propriety, while basking in the luxury of money which they took from their victims at the stroke of a pen, all under the eye of the FBI who opposes any action being sought to prosecute such criminal judges.

In these days of argued government corruption, people rarely talk about criminal judges as Ashcroft did, and when it happens, people have a tendency to simply "roll their eyes" in disbelief, but what makes Hettler's case different as the case with Polaroid, is that Hettler has supplied competent and uncontested evidence of such crimes, yet none of this has any influence on those who are supposed to protect us against corruption, now including General Ashcroft.

In Hettler's letter to Ashcroft, Hettler, anticipating that Ashcroft would refuse to act on his words, Hettler simply asked for a recommendation from Ashcroft on whom to take the matter but even that was refused by Ashcroft. Hettler wonders: is Ashcroft any better than those who he has adjudged corrupt? This will hopefully be sorted out by the many victims of Polaroid in Massachusetts who hopefully achieve redress from a national outcry for law and order.

Because Hettler's evidence is so compelling, Hettler recently went to Washington to meet with the entire Massachusetts delegation which earlier in 2002 and 2003 spearheaded an effort to "urge" Polaroid to honor its pension obligations to its many employees. This writing to Polaroid's General Counsel was signed by Senator Kerry, Senator Kennedy, and the remaining ten (10) congressional members of the Massachusetts delegation. While in Washington, not one of these people would give Hettler the time of day but did say that they were aware of it- Congressman Markey told Hettler that "he was sorry". Hettler told Markey that he didn't come to Washington for an apology- he came to Washington to get his money and property returned and that apologies were a far cry from what was expected of him by those who had been so egregiously harmed by the fabricated bankruptcy of Polaroid and its later purchase by the Petters organization for $426 million in swindled cash. Congressional apologies unfortunately do not buy groceries nor do they pay the rent.

Hettler went to Washington to get his money back offering to appear before both the House and Senate Judiciary Committees and further offering to lead a civil class action in behalf of himself and the tens of thousands of Polaroid who were left penniless because of corruption in our courts which General Ashcroft so accurately described. He made these offers because the courts are corrupt. Because so many of those who have been ripped off by the Petters assault upon Hettler and the tens of thousands crippled by him in Massachusetts, Hettler asked Governor Romney to assist and commission his Attorney General and US Attorney to examine the matter and to restore money essentially embezzled by Petters and others with who he orchestrated what Time Magazine has characterized as the Great Retirement Rip-off. Hopefully, the Governor will commission those within his state to investigate and prosecute those who General Ashcroft now chooses to aid and harbor.

Government corruption is a runaway train and will destroy the very fiber of our democracy if nothing is done about it. About the only thing that we can do is demand the necessary changes in Washington that will restore law and order to a country which now appears to be both morally and intellectually bankrupt.

Richard Hettler can be reached at

Wednesday, October 08, 2008 10:35:00 PM  

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