CCL’s Valerie M. Nannery attended the Spring meeting of the Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure of the Judicial Conference of the United States (“Standing Committee”) in Washington, DC on May 29th and 30th. On the first day of the meeting, the Standing Committee took up proposed amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, discussed previously here and here. The chair of the Civil Rules Advisory Committee, Judge David Campbell, presented a couple of additional changes to the Committee Notes for Rule 26 and Rule 37(e), but the proposed amendments to the text of the rules were the same as those approved by the Advisory Committee at its meeting last month in Portland, OR.

After some questions from several members of the Standing Committee, the proposed changes to the rules of discovery and several rules on case management were approved by the Standing Committee by a unanimous vote. The proposed changes to Rule 37(e) were discussed at length on both days of the meeting, and the Standing Committee unanimously approved the proposed amendment with minor modifications to the text. The proposed amendments approved by the Standing Committee would redefine the scope of discovery, reduce the time to serve a summons and complaint, abrogate most of the Official Forms, and change the standard in several federal circuits governing the types of measures a court may use to remedy a party’s failure to preserve electronically stored information.

The next step for the Civil Rules amendments is consideration by the members of the Judicial Conference of the United States in September 2014. The Judicial Conference can approve or reject any of the recommendations of the Standing Committee, or send them back to the Committee for additional consideration.