Friday, February 14, 2014

Coleman on the Proposed Amendments to the FRCP Discovery Rules

Over on the ACS blog is a post by Prof. Brooke Coleman (Seattle) entitled The Real Cost of Litigation Reform: Justice, Not Discovery Costs, Are at Stake, which discusses the current proposals to amend the discovery provisions of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. It concludes:

Our litigation system necessarily costs money. But, the purpose of the system is to achieve justice. No doubt, the costs should be contained as much as possible, but that containment should be achieved without sacrificing basic access to our federal system of courts. The proposed discovery rules incentivize producing parties to hold back information that is necessary to get to the truth, and they further burden requesting parties with proving that they need materials before they can even know what that information is. These proposals may make CEOs and general counsels feel more sanguine about the bottom line of their litigation costs, but they should provoke a great amount of dread in the rest of us. Corporations are less likely to be held accountable for their misdeeds if these changes are made. That cost alone renders the current litigation reform proposals unjustified.

Discovery, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Weblogs | Permalink


What "basic access to our federal system of courts" might Professor Coleman have in mind? When it comes to whether "people can afford and access civil justice," the United States is in the bottom third of the world: tied with Uganda. World Justice Project, Rule of Law Index 2012-2013 (2013), at 174-175, available at The World Justice Project is funded, in part, by the American Bar Association. James R. Silkenat, 2013-2014 President of the American Bar Association, is Vice President and Director. Id. at ii.

Posted by: James Maxeiner | Feb 15, 2014 5:04:46 AM

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