Stroz Friedberg Investigations (SFI) was appointed Special Master in the Eastern District of New York to review and produce portions of files of criminal investigations conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF). These files had been subpoenaed by the City of New York and other defendants in the case City of New York v. Beretta U.S.A. Corp. The suit alleged that gun manufacturers had created a public nuisance through their marketing and distribution practices. Because relevant ATF files were likely to contain confidential information, including criminal history records, identity of informants, and sensitive operational and tactical procedures, SFI, as Special Master, was directed to determine which data were relevant to the plaintiff’s claims and to redact the confidential information.
SFI set up a special Review and Redact team at the ATF N.Y. Field Division Headquarters. Staffed by an IT support technician, two former federal agents, a former high ranking NYPD captain, and a former deputy general counsel for National Security Affairs at the FBI, this team brought more than a century of investigative and law enforcement experience to the tasks at hand. In all, 63,000 pages of files were reviewed and categorized; 21,000 pages were scanned and marked with an identifiable Bates number; and 4,300 pages were produced to the court as evidence.
Stroz Friedberg produced non-privileged documents containing information relating to each step a particular firearm took, from the point of manufacture to the point of seizure, including information relating to the lawfulness of these transfers, with all confidential information appropriately redacted.