On December 5-6, CCL’s Andre M. Mura participated in a forum on the proposed amendments to the federal rules of civil procedure hosted by the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS) in Denver, Colorado. The forum, according to IAALS, sought to “capture comment, critique, and suggestions from a diverse and experienced group of Federal Court practitioners” regarding the proposed amendments. These amendments would, among other things, limit the scope of discovery; further reduce the presumptive limits for discovery tools such as depositions and interrogatories; encourage earlier court participation in case management; and set a high bar for the imposition of sanctions for spoliation. While some participants expressed agreement with the proposals, participants from the plaintiffs’ bar, including members of the American Association for Justice and the National Employment Lawyers’ Association, expressed concern that the amendments would disfavor their clients by impeding their ability to access courts for a merits-based determination by a jury. In addition, plaintiffs’ lawyers sought to offer language changes that would promote efficient and speedy resolution of federal cases, but not at the expense of justice.

IAALS will be summarizing the participants’ views in a report due out in mid-December, and will file the report with the Civil Rules Committee, which solicited public comment on the proposed amendments until February 15, 2014.