Bowman and Brooke's Discovery Coordination and eDiscovery practice group reports on the latest development regarding proposed amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP).
On April 29, 2015 the United States Supreme Court submitted the proposed FRCP amendments to the Senate and House of Representatives for approval. The Rules will take effect on December 1, 2015, unless both houses object or amend the proposed rules. Congress is unlikely to take action to prevent these rules from taking effect, therefore litigants in Federal Court must be prepared to adapt to these changes before December 1, 2015.
The current proposed Rule 26(b)(1) defines the scope of discovery as "any non-privileged matter that is relevant to any party's claim or defense," and no longer contains the widely misunderstood and misused phrase "reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence." The amended rule would require that discovery be "proportional to the needs of the case, considering the importance of the issues at stake in the action, the amount in controversy, the parties' relative access to relevant information, the parties' resources, the importance of the discovery in resolving the issues, and whether the burden or expense of the proposed discovery outweighs its likely benefit."
Rule 37 has also clarified the available remedies for failure to preserve electronically stored information.