The amount in controversy is weighed heavily in most discovery proportionality analyses, but public interest can also impact a court’s decision about whether, or how much, to limit discovery in some cases. For example, in VoteAmerica v. Schwab, No. 21-2253-KHV-GEB, 2022 BL 191442 (D. Kan. June 02, 2022), the plaintiff declined to provide information in response to discovery requests which were allegedly too broad and disproportional to the needs of the case. In its proportionality analysis, the court noted that injunctions were being sought in addition to monetary damages. The court ruled that public interest matters – such as a state’s ability to ensure that its elections are “honest and orderly” – may outweigh the financial amount in controversy. Though the court did grant the defendant’s request to produce, it included additional stipulations to limit the scope of the production. Additional information on the case is available in the Exterro case law alert, which features my brief “expert commentary.”
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Public Interest Affects Discovery Dispute in Kansas Voting Case
…the importance of determining the First and Fourteenth Amendment Rights of Plaintiff as weighed against the right of the State to ensure its elections are honest and orderly, from a proportionality standpoint, far outweighs the limited fiscal amount in controversy.