What Do You Do When You Inadvertently Produce Privileged Documents? Lessons Learned from the Sandy Hook Elementary School/Alex Jones Defamation Trial

The recent litigation surrounding Alex Jones and Infowars Podcast, relating to defamatory statements Jones made about the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting victims and their families, focused on an issue that was not supposed to be the center of this defamation trial.  During the trial, Plaintiff’s counsel confronted Jones on cross-examination with the fact that Jones’ legal team had inadvertently turned over two years’ worth of Jones’ text messages relating to his baseless claims that the Sandy Hook shooting never took place.  The inadvertent production was bad for Jones, however, how it was revealed was even worse. Plaintiff’s lawyer, Mark Bankston, had the following exchange with Jones:

Mr. Jones, did you know that 12 days ago, your attorneys messed up and sent me an entire digital copy of your entire cellphone with every text message you’ve sent for the past two years? And when informed, did not take any steps to identify it as privileged or protect it any way, and as of two days ago, it fell free and clear into my possession and that is how I know you lied to me when you said you didn’t have text messages about Sandy Hook.  Did you know that?

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