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GDPR-Based Objections to U.S. Discovery Requests: 2019 Year in Review

U.S. civil litigants faced with an obligation to produce “personal data” protected by GDPR can find themselves on the horns of a serious dilemma. Initial rulings addressing the tension between the broad scope of data protected by GDPR and the similarly broad scope of discovery under U.S. law revealed substantial skepticism that complying with a U.S. discovery request would expose parties to significant enforcement risk in the EU. This article takes a look at what arguments parties put forth in the past year, and make a few suggestions for how litigants can avoid violating one jurisdiction’s law to satisfy another’s courts.

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U.S. civil litigants faced with an obligation to produce “personal data” protected by GDPR, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, can find themselves on the horns of a serious dilemma. In 2019, the first full year since GDPR was enacted, not a single court excused compliance with a discovery request because of GDPR-based objections.

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