Saturday, July 9, 2016

Judge rules in favor of SN&R in Kevin Johnson lawsuit - Sacramento News & Review

Judge rules in favor of SN&R in Kevin Johnson lawsuit - Page Burner - July 8, 2016 - Blogs - Sacramento News & Review:

Judge rules in favor of SN&R in Kevin Johnson lawsuit


It’s been a long time coming.
In March of 2015, SN&R’s Cosmo Garvin filed a Public Records Act request for emails related to Mayor Kevin Johnson and the National Conference of Black Mayors. The City of Sacramento didn’t release them all, and a legal battle ensued. Read the most recent updates here and here.
Finally, SN&R and the mayor’s lawyers at Ballard Spahr LLP met today in court. The mayor’s lawyer requested a re-examination of several emails, resulting in a fairly exasperated Judge Christopher Krueger.
“Every document an attorney has seen doesn’t become a legal document,” Krueger said, adding that a “talismanic invocation” of attorney-client privilege doesn’t make it so.
With the exception of one redaction, Krueger ruled that most of the remaining emails will be turned over to SN&R. Ballard Spahr has until July 18, but it is still possible that they’ll file an appeal.
What does this mean for SN&R? The mayor? How the city will deal with Public Records Act requests in the future? Nick Miller will dive into all of that in next week’s SN&R.Judge rules in favor of SN&R in Kevin Johnson lawsuit - Page Burner - July 8, 2016 - Blogs - Sacramento News & Review:



Court orders release of Mayor Kevin Johnson’s emails
Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson testifies in the arena court trial on Tuesday, June 30, 2015 in Sacramento, California. The City of Sacramento must release more than 50 emails relating to Mayor Kevin Johnson’s controversial takeover of an embattled black mayors group in 2013, Sacramento Superior Court judge Christopher Krueger ruled on Friday, July 8, 2016.
Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson testifies in the arena court trial on Tuesday, June 30, 2015 in Sacramento, California. The City of Sacramento must release more than 50 emails relating to Mayor Kevin Johnson’s controversial takeover of an embattled black mayors group in 2013, Sacramento Superior Court judge Christopher Krueger ruled on Friday, July 8, 2016. Hector Amezcua hamezcua@sacbee.com

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/crime/article88605127.html#storylink=cpy

The city of Sacramento must release more than 50 emails relating to Mayor Kevin Johnson’s controversial takeover of an embattled black mayors group in 2013, a judge ruled on Friday.
Sacramento Superior Court Judge Christopher Krueger said the contested communications should be considered public records and must be turned over within 10 calendar days.
Scott Humphreys of law firm Ballard Spahr argued on behalf of Johnson and the National Conference of Black Mayors that the emails, many between city staff working for Johnson, should be covered by attorney-client privilege.
Krueger admonished that attorney-client privilege required more than “talismanic citation of those words,” and that after a close review, the emails and attachments did not meet the standard of communicating legal advice, opinions or analysis. In some cases, he pointed out that they did not appear to be legal in nature at all, such as one memo suggesting exit interview questions for an employee that Humphreys argued had been reviewed by his firm.
“Every document an attorney has ever seen does not become attorney-client privilege,” Krueger said.
The legal case stems from Johnson’s bitterly contested seizure of power at NCBM and its subsequent bankruptcy. An investigation by The Sacramento Bee, including more than 6,100 pages of emails and 16 documents obtained through the Public Records Act, outlined years of work by Johnson’s paid city staff and volunteers to solidify Johnson’s leadership of the organization after years of mismanagement had diminished its stature.
A spokeswoman for the mayor’s office said he would not fight the ruling. “Since the beginning we’ve always contended that whatever emails the judge ruled were not privileged should be released,” said spokeswoman Crystal Strait.Court orders release of Mayor Kevin Johnson’s emails
Anita Chabria: 916-321-1049@chabriaa

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