JPMorgan Doesn’t Have to Provide Lawyer E-Mails in Probe

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) isn’t required to turn over portions of e-mails sought by U.S. regulators in a probe of potential energy-market manipulation after a judge said they are protected by attorney-client privilege.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Deborah Robinson in Washington yesterday denied a request by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to force JPMorgan to provide unredacted copies of 25 e-mails. Robinson said she reviewed the documents and agreed that the redacted portions are confidential communications with JPMorgan’s lawyers.

FERC sued New York-based JPMorgan on July 2 to release the e-mails in an investigation of possible manipulation of power markets in California and the Midwest by J.P. Morgan Ventures Energy Corp. The agency opened the probe last year after complaints from California and Midwest grid operators that JPMorgan’s bidding practices were abusive.

Mary O’Driscoll, a spokeswoman for FERC, didn’t immediately return a call yesterday after regular business hours seeking comment on the ruling.

The case is Federal Energy Regulatory Commission v. J.P. Morgan Ventures Energy Corp., 12-mc-352, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).

To contact the reporters on this story: Tom Schoenberg in Washington at tschoenberg@bloomberg.net; Edvard Pettersson in Los Angeles at epettersson@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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