On withholding evidence

My hope is that my current car will hold out until my next one drives itself, which is the only reason I know about the fight between Alphabet/Google/Waymo ("Waymo" for short), which makes self-driving cars, and Uber, which wants to make self-driving cars. Waymo lost an employee, who started his own self-driving car company, which was bought by Uber. Waymo sued Uber, claiming trade secret violation. 

And Uber, allegedly, ignored court orders to turn over documents plainly requested in discovery. Apparently the document/s include proof of Uber efforts to impede government investigations, which, probably not great to put in writing if you're going to do that. 

Disclose. Disclose, disclose, disclose. If you're not sure, put it in a privilege log, but disclose. And I hope, if it turns out Uber did hide documents, and their lawyers knew about it, both Uber and the lawyers are amply punished. 

Update: the best thoughts - which I would only adopt in part - are Matt Levine's. Quoted in part below, and more on 'norms arbitrage' later. 


Lawyer: We don't have to give that email to the other side in this lawsuit; it is marked "Privileged and confidential" and was sent to a lawyer.
Engineer: Wait that's how it works?
Lawyer: Well there are many factors --
Engineer: So if we mark all our emails "privileged and confidential" and always cc a lawyer, no one will ever be able to see them?
Lawyer: I mean not --
Engineer: I've put that in the training manual and written code to automate it.

It feels weird if you are used to subtler and more genteel forms of legal optimization. But of course this is kind of Uber's schtick. Raising prices when demand is high is totally normal human behavior, the sort of thing that is blandly explained early on in economics textbooks. Writing an algorithm to do it automatically, and bragging about that, and calling it "surge pricing," is ... a little ... unseemly? One thing that Uber is doing is a sort of norms arbitrage, a bet that it can get away with doing openly and always things that other people do quietly and occasionally.