DFS and Lotte continue dispute over GIAA concession contract

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DFS and Lotte continue dispute over a concession contract that dates back to 2012.

Guam – DFS and Lotte Duty Free have been in dispute over a concession contract that dates back to 2002.  The case is in its fourth year and stems from a procurement protest filed by DFS of a concession contract at the AB Won Pat International Airport Authority, which was awarded to Lotte Duty Free.  Another Hearing was held on Friday at the Superior Court of Guam.

Friday’s hearing, centered around 4 emails and a chain email from former designated Lotte Bid Director Joe Cruz. The emails were sent to Cruz’s legal counsel and shared with Duty Free. The issue is whether or not those emails were confidential or privileged information containing trade secrets. Attorney Jay Shrinivasan who represents DFS questioned if the act of forwarding a non-privileged email turns that email into privileged. He says the answer is no. Further reiterating that Joe Cruz’s lawyer never explained why those emails were privileged.

But according to Shrinivasan, “the real issue is whether the independent economic value that is generated from not being generally known to the public and allows Mr. Cruz or Lotte to obtain an advantage over its competitors who did not know this information. That is what a trade secret is.”

While the subject matter of those emails was not disclosed in court, Attorney Cesar Cabot who represents Lotte, argued that the information did not belong to Cruz rather the privilege belongs to Lotte.

Cabot stated that, “Cruz’s lawyer inadvertently turned that over to the other side.”

And when Lotte discovered what transpired they filed an objection stating that the disclosure of those particular emails was not part of Judge Arthur Barcinas’ order for non-parties to meet and confer.

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