Third-Party On Hook for Cost of Subpoena Compliance

American Kidney Fund, Inc., was served subpoenas as a third-party to a lawsuit in Maryland. As often happens, AKF bore the brunt of the costs of complying with those subpoenas. AKF then requested reimbursement for attorneys’ fees incurred in responding to those subpoenas. The Court determined that Rule 45(d)(2)(B)(ii) only protects a non-party when attorney fees result from the party’s compliance to a compelling court order. Since AKF complied without a compelling court order, the cost-shifting option was not available. The Court also determined the AKF failed to engage in good faith negotiations while the serving party sought to minimize the organization’s undue burden. Read the Court’s suggestions for best practices when managing the cost of compliance to subpoenas here.