Burdens of Discovery for Scientific Working Materials and Deliberative Documents
Written by: Evelyn Y. Chang
Edited by: Jessica Vosgerchian
In March of 2012, British Petroleum sought court enforcement of a subpoena for “any conversation or discussion” made by researchers from WHOI regarding their studies on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The court applied a balancing test that weighed BP’s need for the requested information against the burden placed on WHOI, and required the WHOI researchers disclose internal pre-publication materials relating to the studies cited in the government report.