FRCP Proposed Amendments

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Jan 31

On August 15, 2013, the Advisory Committee on Civil Rules published for public comment proposed amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which address the challenges of managing the scope of discovery in the digital age and the attendant consequences for a party's failure to meet its discovery obligations.  The proposed amendments are in a public comment period that ends on February 15, 2014.  The proposed revisions seek (1) to scale the scope of permissible discovery to be proportional to the litigation at issue, (2) to limit discovery requests, (3) to encourage meaningful dialogue between the parties before establishing the scope of discovery, and (4) to provide further protection for parties against sanctions for the failture to preserve discoverable information when the failure was not willful or in bad faith.  The effect of the proposed amendments will undoubtedly increase the burden on counsel to know their case and where potential evidence resides before engaging in wholesale discovery.