Minnesota litigators are well aware of the substantial difference between taking third-party discovery out of state for a federal case pending in Minnesota as compared to a Minnesota state court action. Federal subpoenas are standardized and relatively straight-forward. The process for out-of-state discovery for use in Minnesota state court actions is significantly more varied and complicated. It is pretty clear, however, that, as a general matter, there has to be a pending Minnesota state lawsuit to justify third-party discovery in another jurisdiction based on the Minnesota case.
While limited to the specialized area of asbestos litigation, the Minnesota Supreme Court will take up the question of whether pre-litigation discovery is permitted under the rules and, if so, whether it is permitted as a matter of state constitutional law. Argument is 10:10 a.m., Tuesday, March 2, at the University of Minnesota Law School. The appellate decision under review is linked here.