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Evolution has criticised US law firm Calcagni & Kanefsky (CK) for the alleged misuse of attorney-client privilege.

Evolution is attempting to uncover the identity of the entities behind the 2021 Calcagni Report that accused the live casino giant of offering its services in prohibited jurisdictions.

A recently concluded two-year investigation by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) found “no evidence” of the assertions in the report.

CK, which had been hired by the investigative firm which compiled the report, was also responsible for submitting the report to the NGDGE.

In its ongoing legal dispute with the supplier, CK has refused to reveal its client, claiming protection under attorney-client privilege.

A higher court ruling said Evolution’s request to unmask the name of the report’s sponsor should be evaluated depending on its veracity.

Deposition hearings allege CK did limited research

In deposition hearings, CK’s lead investigator admitted the law firm did a limited degree of research into the claims as outlined in the report.

This included a failure to hire experts to evaluate the report and to assess the truth of the evidence.

“Their complete lack of factual diligence is contrary to the usual and appropriate role of a lawyer, who should conduct reasonable investigation into a client’s claims,” said attorneys on behalf of Evolution.

Deposition transcripts also allege the entity which commissioned the investigative firm that compiled the report is not a CK client.

The provider’s attorneys argued this therefore means the business would not be covered under attorney-client privilege and that the identity should be revealed.

Evolution argued the purpose of hiring CK was not to obtain legal advice, but rather to leverage the firm’s reputation to legitimise the report and to conceal their identity through attorney-client privilege.

As such, lawyers representing Evolution requested the court to order CK to reveal the identities of the Calcagni Report’s sponsors within 14 days.

The filing is the latest twist in a potential multi-million dollar defamation case tabled by Evolution, which said the report has continued to negatively affect its business.

“Since the investigative report was published, competitors of Evolution have leveraged the false statements in the report in an attempt to gain a competitive advantage against Evolution,” said Evolution director of M&A Jesper von Bahr (pictured) in a court filing.  

“Such statements continue to this day. Evolution has been made aware of competitors repeating false statements from the investigative report in the marketplace,” he added.

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