“As of December 1, 2015, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) will take effect unless Congress acts to modify or reject them. Key amendments were designed to lower the costs of litigation by providing judicial tools to encourage and enforce proportional discovery, and by establishing a uniform national standard for preservation obligations along with a safe harbor for parties that take reasonable steps in good faith to preserve electronically stored information.” Analysis of this complex issue is provided by John J. Jablonski, Chair of Goldberg Segalla’s E-Discovery Practice Group, and Alexander R. Dahl, a shareholder with Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck and General Counsel to Lawyers for Civil Justice.
The 2015 Amendments were drafted and unanimously approved at each milestone along their path to enactment, including meaningful improvements to rules governing proportionality, allocation of costs, preservation and sanctions. As discussed by John and Alexander, the Amendments reflect the tremendous effort made to craft them with fairness to all parties, by moving the existing proportionality standard into the scope of discovery and providing a uniform national standard that clarifies a complicated area of law relating to data management and discovery.
The article provides an overview of these 2015 Amendments along with examples of analytical methodologies to help courts and lawyers apply the Amendments as envisioned and, where appropriate, provides context and support from existing cases and commentary.
“The 2015 Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure: Guide to Proportionality in Discovery and Implementing a Safe Harbor for Preservation,” Defense Counsel Journal, October 9, 2015