Efforts to amend the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure took another step forward last week. On June 3, 2013, the Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure (“the Standing Committee”) approved a package of proposals to change several of the Federal Rules relevant to ediscovery. The package will be released to the bench and bar for a six-month public comment period on August 15, 2013.
The package approved by the Standing Committee was first adopted by the Civil Rules Advisory Committee (“The Rules Committee”) during its April 2013 meeting. The package combines nearly three years of initiatives handled by the Discovery Subcommittee and the Duke Subcommittee following the Duke Litigation Review Conference in May 2010. The package contains the following:
- An amendment to Rule 1, addressing the issue of cooperation in discovery
- Amendments to Rule 16 & 26(f), including preservation considerations as a component of discovery plans and scheduling orders
- Amendments to Rule 26(b), adding proportionality to further define the scope of discovery
- Amendments to Rules 30, 31, 33 and 36, imposing or reducing numerical limits on interrogatories, oral or written depositions, and requests to admit
- An amendment to Rule 34, requiring greater specificity in objections to requests to produce
- An amendment to Rule 26(c), further clarifying the courts authority to order cost-shifting
- A replacement rule Rule 37(e), aiming to create a national, uniform standard for culpability with regard to spoliation sanctions
Following the comment period, public hearings will be held November 7, 2013 in Washington, January 9, 2014 in Phoenix and early February 2014 in Dallas. For the full text and comments about the Rules Package, check out the May 2013 Report of the Rules Committee to the Standing Committee.
Looking for more on this hot topic? Don’t miss Kroll Ontrack’s June 12th webinar, Are Your Ediscovery Practices Ready for FRCP Amendments?, hosted by state and Federal rules expert Tom Allman. Additionally, Tom wrote this article with more details on the Rules Package.