Changes to Federal Rules Aim to Reduce Costs, Burden of Civil Litigation
An influential national group has proposed significant and positive amendments to rules governing civil proceedings in federal courts– changes that would help rein in excessive discovery and the burden it creates.
The Federal Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure is composed of judges, lawyers, and legal scholars appointed by the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. The committee advises the U.S. judiciary system on possible changes to federal procedural rules, which govern federal court operations and practice.
Among other things, the committee’s proposed changes would:
- Better define and effectively narrow the scope of what types of “discovery” would be deemed admissible (“discovery” is the broad legal term for the procedural devices used by a litigant, before trial, to require the other party to disclose certain information that is essential for the preparation of the case)
- Add “proportionality” —that is, balance of interests–in the scope of discovery
- Create a clearer and fairer standard for imposing sanctions for failure to preserve evidence
These proposed revisions would begin to reverse the trend of excessively expensive and intrusive court proceedings, and provide much needed guidance on the requirements to preserve information during litigation.
They also would have a positive impact on reducing unnecessary federal litigation and lead to lower litigation costs.
Businesses of all sizes may comment on these proposed rules, which may be seen online by Feb. 15 as part of the public comment period. You may electronically file comments with the advisory committee by clicking on this link.
For more information, contact Eric George, at 860.305.1530 .
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