Monday, April 09, 2012

CAFC addresses discovery of settlement documents

The bottom line in the case:

Thus, the district court did not clearly abuse its discretion in ordering production of the settlement negotiation documents.

Within the case:

As a matter of fairness MSTG cannot at one and the same time have its expert rely on information about the settlement negotiations and deny discovery as to those same negotiations. See In re Pioneer Hi-Bred Int’l, Inc., 238 F.3d 1370, 1374-76 (Fed. Cir. 2001).

Within the case:

This situation is similar to that in University of Pennsylvania, 493 U.S. 182, involving a Title VII suit against a university claiming bias in a tenure decision. The univer- sity asserted that a new privilege should be recognized under Rule 501 covering confidential peer review materials, that is, confidential documents in a professor’s ten- ure-review file such as evaluations made by other professors and documents reflecting the internal delibera- tions of the tenure committee. The Supreme Court re- jected that privilege, placing significant emphasis on the fact that in extending Title VII to educational institutions and providing for broad EEOC subpoena powers, Con- gress did not see fit to create a privilege for peer review documents.


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