Narrowing the Scope of Federal Discovery: The Proposed Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure [Pennsylvania Bar Association Federal Practice Committee Newsletter]

According to some estimates, discovery costs account for between 50 and 90 percent of total litigation costs. Discovery also represents one of the major causes of delay and congestion in the judicial system. Indeed, in many ways, “[discovery] has become the focal point of litigation instead of means to an end.”

In an effort to streamline costs and delay in litigation, the Judicial Conference Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure (the “Standing Committee”) published proposed amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. PRELIMINARY DRAFT OF PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO THE FEDERAL RULES OF BANKRUPTCY AND CIVIL PROCEDURE, pp. 259-60 (Aug. 15, 2013) [hereinafter “PROPOSED AMENDMENTS”]. Unlike previous proposals, which have sought to broaden discovery, this package of proposed rules significantly restricts the scope of discovery and the presumptive number of discovery requests and depositions available.
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