Proposals that would significantly narrow the ability to conduct discovery in federal courts will be considered at the April meeting of the advisory committee on civil rules.  Proposed changes have been drafted by a subcommittee chaired by federal district court Judge John G. Koeltl. The full committee, chaired by federal district court Judge David G. Campbell, is expected to revise those proposals and recommend that they be submitted for formal public comment. In advance of that meeting, CCL’s John Vail has submitted initial comments.

The letter singles out three proposals under consideration: a proposed re-definition of the scope of discovery; new presumptive limits on discovery; and a proposed restriction of the time for effecting service of process. It concludes that these proposed revisions are not warranted by empirical evidence or litigation experience and likely would have adverse impacts on access to justice, which is the core value the civil rules should implement.