On November 7, 2013, CCL’s Andre M. Mura and Valerie M. Nannery attended the first of three public hearings on the proposed changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Civil Rules has proposed changes that would change the scope of discovery, the time limit for service of process, as well as the presumptive number of depositions, requests for admission and interrogatories the parties are entitled to in civil litigation in Federal Court. The Advisory Committee heard a full day of testimony from more than 40 witnesses including members and the President of the American Association for Justice, members of the civil rights community, as well as several representatives from the DRI and general counsels of large corporations. Many witnesses testified that the proposed changes would cripple the efforts of injured plaintiffs to prove their cases and limit access to justice. Others testified that the proposals should be adopted to reduce discovery-related costs.

The comment period on the proposed Rule changes opened on August 15, 2013, and will remain open until February 15, 2014. The Committee has already received more than 300 written comments on these changes. Comments may be submitted electronically here. The Committee will hold two more public hearings early next year, in Phoenix, AZ on January 9th and in Dallas, TX on February 7th. Those who wish to testify at either of the upcoming hearings must submit their requests in writing at least 30 days in advance. More information can be found here.  CCL expects to file its own comments on the proposed rules.