The Judicial Conference of the United States has solicited testimony and comments on proposed changes to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 1, 4, 6, 16, 26, 30, 31, 33, 34, 36, 37, 55, 84, and Appendix of Forms. Hearings will be held on November 7, 2013, in Washington, D.C.; on January 9, 2014, in Phoenix, Arizona; and on February 7 in Dallas, Texas. Those wishing to testify must notify the committee secretary at least 30 days before the relevant hearing, and comments may be submitted until February 15, 2014.
A number of proposed changes involve case-management issues and are intended to streamline the procedures, including shortening times for service of pleadings and the court’s issuance of a scheduling order. Rule 26(b) would be amended to require that discovery be “proportional to the needs of the case considering the amount in controversy, the importance of the issues at stake in the action, 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.” Other proposed changes would reduce presumptive numerical limits on depositions and their duration.