Link: Court Denies Motion to Compel Return of Inadvertently Produced Privileged Materials : Electronic Discovery Law. This post from Preston Gates Ellis highlights one of the problems with computers in the law practice. I call it computer malpractice, and have posted about it before. One of the Florida Bar's Committees discussed the inadvertent disclosure issue at a recent meeting; and, it was the consensus that the mis-directed fax of confidential work product created an ethical obligation on the recipient to return the materials without reading them. In this case, the error was more egregious; a computer error caused the addition of allegedly privileged documents to a pleading, which error was not discovered for 3 to 4 months. The Court applied a five-prong test before denying a Motion to Compel the return of the erroneously supplied material. This proves that computer generated pleadings and documents need to be MORE carefully proofread before sending. Of course, the hustle and bustle of everyday law practice means that we aren't always so careful. We are human, after all. I wonder, even though this Court denied the return of the mis-directed items in the pleading, is it an ethical no-no to read them? What do you think?