The current amended Federal Rules of Civil Procedure—and, in particular, those that address the practice of civil discovery—are the product of five years of development, debate, and, of course, dialogue. Now that the Rules are set to be implemented on December 1, 2015 – and they apply to pending cases where “just and practicable” — the focus among attorneys and their clients has changed from what the Rules should say to how they should work. While debates remain as to how certain parts of the Rules will wear-and-tear once put to the test in discovery, there are clear indications within the text of the Rules (with some help from the Committee Notes to the Rules and the contributions of judges and other writers) as to how the Rules will apply. Over the past few weeks as part of Discovery Advocate’s First Five Questions series, we have examined some of the initial and immediate considerations expressed within and surrounding the rules and applies them to practice, regarding the Rules’ application to Proportionality (Rule 26); Early Case Assessment (Rules 4, 16, 26, and 34); Preservation (Rule 37); and Objections (Rule 34). A version of these posts were published as “Twenty Questions: A Practical Guide to the Amended Federal Rules of Civil Procedure” for the 2015 Georgetown Advanced E-Discovery Institute.
While this series’ 20 questions have not asked “animal, vegetable, or mineral,” and will not offer a lifetime supply of Pageant magazine, Ronson Lighters, or Wildroot Cream-oil, readers have received something even better: practical advice that can be used in office or in court, to help friend and foe alike survive and even thrive in today’s discovery practice. Really, there is only one final question:
Are you ready?