On May 21, 2013, the International Trade Commission (“Commission”) published its Final Rules, amending its Rules of Practice and Procedure. The purpose behind the Commission’s new rules is “to reduce expensive, inefficient, unjustified, or unnecessary discovery practices in agency proceedings while preserving the opportunity for fair and efficient discovery for all parties.” See recent ITC article discussing rule changes.
The Commission’s final rules are a follow-up to the proposed rules published in the Federal Register on October 5, 2012. See our October 6, 2012 post for a detailed discussion of the proposed rules. All eight changes made between the proposed rules and the final rules are laid out in the “Overview of the Amendments to the Commission’s Rules” section of the Federal Register publication.
The Commission received eight sets of comments during the public comment period, but only made technical, non-substantive changes based on the received comments. One of the suggestions made during the comment period was to explicitly define what types of materials are “not reasonably accessible.” The Commission rejected this suggestion, stating that such a change is unnecessary. Further, the Commission stated that it would be difficult to create a comprehensive list of things that are “not reasonably accessible.”
The final rules are effective as of June 20, 2013.