Magistrate Judge Ronald L. Ellis
In its May 11, 2012 contract breach action against aluminum manufacturer Alcoa Inc., Rank Group Limited sought indemnification from Alcoa for a $10 million tax liability from the Chilean government following Rank’s 2008 acquisition of Alcoa’s consumer packaging business Alusud Chile. District court denied Alcoa’s request to produce Rank’s communications with its Latin American counsel at non-party law firm Baker & McKenzie (Baker). In so doing the court rejected Alcoa’s assertion that the attorney-client privilege had been waived as a result of Baker attorney Zamora’s May 13, 2008, e-mail to Alcoa attorney Nascimbem. Based on sworn statements by Abascal, a partner with Baker’s Chilean office, and Borja, the former Latin American regional financial controller for Rank’s subsidiary Closure Systems International, the court concluded that the evidence “show[ed] by a preponderance” that the subject e-mail’s disclosure was unauthorized and inadvertent. Abascal’s affidavit established that she did not authorize production of Rank’s privileged communication with Baker in May 2008, while Borja’s declaration indicated that there was no authority for Alusud Chile to forward the subject e-mail to anyone at Alcoa.