IP Alerts

IP Alert
IP Alert: New Changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure

December 1, 2015

Today, a number of significant amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure went into effect. Culminating an amendment process that began nearly five years ago, these changes will affect several aspects of federal civil litigation. The changes are intended to make civil litigation more efficient by changing early case management procedures and discovery planning, clarifying the scope of discovery, and revamping the rules regarding the preservation of electronically stored information.

In one of the more significant changes, Rule 26 has been amended to define that the discovery available to parties under the rules must be “proportional to the needs of the case,” replacing the often-cited language “any matter relevant to the subject matter involved in the action” and “information . . . reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.”

In another change, Rule 37(e) has been revamped to more adequately define the circumstances in which a court may take action against a party for the loss of electronically stored information and the measures the court may take in response to such loss. Many additional amendments have been made that will affect pleading standards, timing for service, and the requirements for objecting and responding to discovery requests.

Please contact Fitch Even partner Joseph F. Marinelli for more information relating to the rule changes. On January 21, 2016, Joe will be presenting a Fitch Even webinar on this topic—“The Newly Amended Federal Rules of Civil Procedure: Making Sense of the Changes.”

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