In anticipation of the April 11-12, 2013 meeting of the Advisory Committee on Civil Rules, Lawyers for Civil Justice and the defense bar organizations – IADC, FDCC and DRI – submitted two formal comments to the judicial conference urging the committee to adopt reasonable legal reforms that would ease the burdens of discovery for companies conducting business in America.
This correspondence was submitted as part of LCJ’s ongoing FRCP Initiative, which is designed to encourage the judicial conference to fundamentally revamp the Federal Civil Rules by adopting meaningful amendments in four key areas: notice pleading; limiting discovery and e-discovery; preservation; and cost allocation.
One comment, which is titled A Meaningful Step Towards Addressing Preservation, Discovery and Costs, supports the publication of proposed Rule 37(e) and the Duke Subcommittee Proposals, both of which “represent material progress toward the three pillars of discovery reform: (1) a national and uniform spoliation sanction approach; (2) a fair and practical revised scope of discovery; and (3) incentive-based cost default rules.”
LCJ also submitted a comment titled The Un-American Rule: How the Current “Producer Pays” Default Rule Incentivizes Inefficient Discovery, invites Abusive Litigation Conduct and Impedes Merits-Based Resolutions of Disputes, which advocated the adoption of a “requester pays” discovery rule. As LCJ outlined in the comment, such a rule would “encourage each party to tailor its discovery requests to the needs of the case by placing the cost-benefit decision onto the requesting party – the party in the best position to control the scope of those demands.”
LCJ will continue to promote reasonable reform initiatives throughout the year.