Case Law

Court Grants Motion for a “Quick Peek”

U.S. Court of Federal Claims

Fairholme Funds, Inc. v. United States, No. 13-456C, 2017 WL 4768385 (Fed. Cl. Oct. 23, 2017) In this claims case, the Court granted Plaintiffs’ motion for a “quick peek” at approximately 1,500 documents Defendant had previously withheld as privileged. In granting the motion, the Court noted the existing protective order and reasoned that the quick peek would expedite resolution of the dispute. Over the course of discovery, Defendant produced additional documents multiple times when challenged, including documents previously withheld as privileged, leading to Plaintiffs’ claim that a quick peek was authorized by Fed. R. Evid. 502(d). Defendant argued that the court should not compel a quick peek as that was not the intended use of FRE 502(d), citing The Sedona Conference’s advisory committee note on the rule. Noting Defendant’s previously piecemeal production, a desire to move the case forward and the possibility that Plaintiffs may seek in-camera review, the court found that the quick peek procedure was “helpful in the instant case” and that it had the authority to use it.

Keywords: Quick peek, privilege, clawback, Federal Rules of Evidence Rule 502(d)