She found that the Tribe did not carry its burden of establishing the "deliberative process privilege":
One central issue was the Plaintiffs assertion of the deliberative process privilege, as an objection to producing portions of minutes, recordings or other documentation of the meetings of the Plaintiff's Business Council and General Council. Both Defendants Lehtinen and Lewis Tein had requested these records in a number of their document requests. Before Plaintiff filed its response to the motions to compel, I reminded Plaintiff of its obligation to fully meet its burden to establish its claims of privilege, and advised that l expected it to do so in its response to the motions to compel.(s'ce DE 151, 1541.She also granted the law firm's demand for production of the Tribe's IRS Forms 1096, with all 1099s that relate to the lawyers or firm.
Plaintiff failed to carry this burden. Instead, Plaintiff made conclusory assertions that some of the communications at these Council meetings as protected by this privilege, without identifying the particular communications or providing any evidence to support its claim . In particular, Plaintiff did not provide any declarations from persons with knowledge who might have been able to establish the various elements of the deliberative process privilege - an essential starting point to meeting its burden of proof.l Accordingly, for the reasons set forth more fully at the discovery conference, I found that Plaintiff failed to carry its burden of proving its claims of privilege and I thus overruled these objections.