The U.S. Supreme Court has approved several changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure that will take effect on December 1, 2015, unless Congress takes any unexpected preventative action.
The changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure include:
Elimination of the provision that allows for discovery of information “that may lead to the discovery of admissible evidence,” and limiting discovery scope only to information that is relevant to litigation claims and defenses.
Limiting the scope of discovery through a new emphasis on a balancing test.
Utilization of protective orders to shift the expense of discovery.
Discovery is required to be “proportional to the needs of the case, considering the importance of the issues at stake in the action, the amount in controversy, the parties’ relative access to relevant information, the parties’ resources, the importance of the discovery in resolving the issues, and whether the burden or expense of the proposed discovery outweighs its likely benefit.”
Objections to requests for production must state whether or not documents are being withheld because of the objection.
Allowance for earlier service of production requests.
Rule changes dealing with the preservation and destruction of relevant information that is stored electronically.
Elimination of the appendix of forms.
Reduction of 30 days in which to serve a summons following filing.
Reduction of 30 days in which courts must enter scheduling orders.
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