On March 5, 2020, Redgrave LLP filed an amicus brief in the United States Supreme Court on behalf of Lawyers for Civil Justice supporting the certiorari petition of the defendants in the Generic Pharmaceuticals Pricing Antitrust Multi-District Litigation.

The central issue of the amicus brief is whether a court can compel a party to produce documents hitting search terms without further review for relevance or responsiveness, inevitably resulting in the production of large volumes of irrelevant and sensitive documents.

The Firm’s brief argues that Rule 26(b)(1)’s limitation on the scope of discovery to relevant information is an outer boundary beyond which courts cannot compel parties to produce irrelevant material.  

Earlier in the week, the Supreme Court issued a temporary stay on the district court’s discovery order that required defendants to produce search term hits without prior review for relevance or responsiveness.  Matters such as the ones addressed in this brief infrequently make their way to the Supreme Court and the outcome will be of interest to all who find themselves subject to excessive discovery.

To read the full amicus brief, click here.

Related News

March 6, 2020
"On Thursday, a defense-bar group called Lawyers for Civil Justice also joined the fray with an amicus brief arguing that under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, relevance is supposed to be “the outer boundary of permissible discovery.” Courts cannot require parties to turn over irrelevant material, yet the district court’s mandate required the drugmakers to produce “large volumes of sensitive, irrelevant material,” said the group, which has been active in pushing for civil procedure rules reform.
“The court should grant review because ordering parties to produce irrelevant material, without being able to first review for relevance or responsiveness, is clear error as it disregards the fundamental boundary in Rule 26(b)(1) that discovery is limited to relevant material,” said LCJ, which is comprised of companies, law firms and defense trial lawyers groups. “This court’s guidance is needed because the scope of discovery as defined by Rule 26(b)(1) impacts all civil litigation in federal courts, regardless of subject matter or size, and lower courts have become increasingly divided on the rule’s meaning.'"
LCJ is represented by Jonathan M. Redgrave and Gareth T. Evans of Redgrave LLP.