Hopes of taming discovery at last?

by Walter Olson on July 7, 2014

Following widespread complaints, led by the business community, that the high cost of the discovery phase of litigation is enough to deprive parties of substantive justice, the Advisory Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure in August of last year proposed amending the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to make discovery less burdensome.  Following a public comment period that ended in February it amended the proposals somewhat and submitted them to a standing rules committee which in turn approved them in late May “with the recommendation that the U.S. Supreme Court accept the changes. If approved, the proposed amendments will go into effect on December 1, 2015.”

Some resources:

  • Tony Rospert and Rob Ware (Thompson Hine), working paper for Washington Legal Foundation on e-discovery costs;
  • Beck, Drug & Device Law (“While hardly perfect, these changes to Rule 37(a) are a welcome step in the right direction.);
  • Alison Frankel, Reuters, on the politics (trial lawyers and legal academics resisting reform);
  • Adapted excerpt in Reason from the chapter on discovery (“The Assault on Privacy”) from my book The Litigation Explosion, 1991.

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