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In-House Counsel

House Panel Wants Ex-Toyota Lawyer to Turn Over Damaging Documents

Posted Feb 19, 2010 8:31 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A House committee has subpoenaed thousands of internal documents from a former Toyota lawyer who claims the automaker concealed evidence from courts and regulators.

The subpoenaed documents have been the subject of bitter legal battles between Toyota and former lawyer Dimitrios Biller, the McClatchy-Tribune News Service reports. Biller’s lawyer, Jeffrey Allen, told the National Law Journal that the subpoena is very broad.

According to McClatchy, the subpoena seeks documents from Biller “relating to vehicle safety and Toyota's handling of alleged motor vehicle safety and Toyota's handling of alleged motor vehicle defects and related litigation."

Biller took 6,000 internal documents with him when he left Toyota in 2007, Reuters reports. Biller has since filed a lawsuit against Toyota that contended the company destroyed evidence in hundreds of rollover suits, leading to his mental breakdown and firing.

An arbitrator considering Biller’s severance agreement has ordered that the papers be kept secret, Reuters says. The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform contends its subpoena overrides the injunction.

Prior coverage at ABA Journal.com:

Ex-Toyota Lawyer’s Battle Over Documents Could Rev Up Other Cases Against Automaker

Toyota Whistle-Blower Lawyer Is Dogged and ‘Heavily Medicated’

Ex-Toyota Lawyer Alleges Destruction of Evidence in Rollover Suits

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