Discovery in class-action litigation is notoriously asymmetric. While a corporate defendant may have hundreds of thousands or millions of potentially relevant documents dispersed geographically and across a range of systems, the putative class representative is likely to have a relatively small number of responsive documents, which can be collected and produced with little burden or expense. Accordingly, corporate defendants in class actions are vulnerable to attempts by plaintiffs to propound extremely broad discovery requests, in the hopes that driving up the expense of the litigation will force the defendant to settle regardless of the merits of the case (or the lack thereof).
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