No fooling! I-Med Pharma and Biomatrix were in litigation about the distribution of a drug in Canada. Biomatrix, not liking the disclosure it had received in the course of discoveries, obtained an order requiring I-Med to submit to a forensic audit of its computer system. The audit involved a search of I-Med’s servers for about 50 keywords. As it turned out, very broad keywords (e.g., ‘profit’, ‘loss’, ‘revenue’): the search yielded over 64 million hits and, if printed, would have produced about 95 million pages of documents. I-Med went back to the magistrate who made the order and was granted relief from the obligation to sift through the documents and produce what was not privileged; Biomatrix had not established the relevancy of the material or shown that the likelihood of finding anything relevant was more than minimal.
Biomatrix (surprisingly?) appealed but (not surprisingly) lost. The district court thought the magistrate had exercised his discretion properly; requiring I-Med to undertake an ‘enormously expensive’ review of the mass of stuff was hardly in the interests of ‘justice and basic fairness’: I-Med Pharma Inc v Biomatrix Inc, 2011 US Dist LEXIS 141614.