Legal Blog

Litigators: Get to Know Amendments to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure

2014 Best Law FirmsOn Dec. 1, 2015, new amendments for the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure go into effect for the first time since 2010. The amendments will encompass changes to Rules 1, 4, 16, 26, 30, 31, 33, 34, 37, 55, and 84, though this article will only cover the major revisions. The Supreme Court, through these amendments, emphasizes a policy of reducing inefficiency, transaction costs, time in litigation, and side litigation on discovery or other procedural issues. While the amendments are not major in the sense that they do not establish completely new procedures, they do encourage litigants and the district courts to reduce discovery abuses and costs. The amendments also further clarify issues regarding the proliferation of electronically stored information and its discovery. Beginning with Rule 1, “Scope and Purpose,” the court makes its focus on shifting policy evident. The court amends Rule 1 to include “and employed by the court and the parties” when discussing the administration and construction of the rules. The addition of employment by the court and the parties underscores the responsibility of all stakeholders in enforcing and following the federal rules. The procedure for summons and waiver of service will also change, including the shortening of time for service after filing the complaint from 120 to 90 days. The court here, again, seeks to reduce delay and inefficiency in the conduct of litigation particularly when combined with the changing and shortening of time lines throughout the rest of the rules. Click here to read the full article on The Legal Intelligencer





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