Important decision on federal rule amendments favors the "little guy" versus corporations

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Important decision on federal rule amendments favors the “little guy” versus corporations

Important decision on federal rule amendments favors the “little guy” versus corporations

Consumer Law and Policy Blog-

Many people’s eyes probably start to glaze over at the mention of amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. But a recent action by the federal Advisory Committee on Civil Rules bears mentioning, and not just for civil procedure nerds.

First, the context: the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure govern civil cases in federal court. They determine what a plaintiff must claim to get in the courthouse door, what procedures and time limits apply to steps that move the litigation forward, and (of particular importance to this set of amendments) the rules governing discovery — that is, what information the opposing sides must share with each other through written questions, requests for documents, and in-person questioning of witnesses under oath.

Next, consider the proposals before the Committee: for several months, the Committee has been considering amending the rules to limit discovery (specifically, to reduce the presumptive numbers of depositions and interrogatories; to limit the number of requests to admit; and to reduce deposition length). What these amendments would mean in practical terms is that the opposing sides are entitled to ask fewer questions of each other, question fewer witnesses under oath, and generally obtain less information.

 [Consumer Law and Policy Blog]

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