Williams & Connolly v. SEC, No. 10-5330 (D.C. Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
This case stemmed from the United States' prosecution of Walter A. Forbes for securities fraud. Appellant, Forbes' defense counsel, sent out Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552, requests to the SEC, seeking, among other things, the notes of SEC staff members taken during their conversations with certain government witnesses and their attorneys. On appeal, appellant argued that the Department of Justice's disclosure of 11 of the requested set of notes waived work product protection, not only for the documents that were released, but also for the remaining 103 sets of SEC notes. The court held that the controversy was moot with respect to the 11 documents because they had been disclosed by the Justice Department. As to the remaining 103 sets of notes, the court did not believe the SEC waived work product protection or that the Justice Department's action in the criminal trial had that effect. Accordingly, the judgment of the district court was affirmed.