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Court shifts pre-certification discovery costs to plaintiffs

Alyssa E. Lambert

Plaintiffs’ lawyers for a potential class action have to pay document production costs up front–even before the class is certified, according to a ruling by a federal district court in Pennsylvania. The court based its decision in part on the law firm’s ability to pay, and on the extensive nature of the electronic and paper discovery requests. “This is outrageous. It is the resources of the parties that are relevant. How come the resources of the defense firm were not considered?” said Keith Altman, of Temecula, Calif., who practices mass tort litigation and specializes in e-discovery issues.

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