Ohio Northern District Rules Against Allowing Redaction of Non-Responsive Information In Document Production Discovery Dispute

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During litigation, information that is considered discoverable under the civil rules is quite broad. Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(b)(1), "[p]arties may obtain discovery regarding any non-privileged matter that is relevant to any party's claim or defense."

However, when involved in litigation, parties typically want to disclose as little information as possible to an opposing side. Notwithstanding disingenuous motives and disputes, the line between information that is considered discoverable and information that is not can be a fine one; the validity of various tactics and arguments to withhold and conceal information in discovery can be as well. In Arcelormittal Cleveland Inc. v. Jewel Coke Company, L.P. (N.D.Ohio Dec. 16, 2010), a $100 million dollar breach of contract dispute involving furnace coke, the Ohio Northern District ruled on the legitimacy of one such tactic, the ability of a party to redact information from its document production that it considers unresponsive or confidential.

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