Changes to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure coming soon

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure are undergoing major changes that will be effective December 1, 2015. In April 2015, the Supreme Court adopted changes to Civil Rules 1, 4, 16, 26, 30, 31, 33, 34, 37, 55, and 84, and the Appendix of Forms, which it passed on to Congress for approval. There are several resources available highlighting the significant changes and discussing their practical impact, including this white paper from Jones Day, this article from JD Supra Business Advisor and Ohio's own Stark County Law Library newsletter.

Some notable changes include:

  • Rule 1 - amendments encourage efficiency and cooperation in litigation.
  • Rule 4 - time to serve a defendant is being reduced from 120 to 90 days.
  • Rule 16 - amendments streamline the scheduling conference procedure, encouraging parties to meet before the court issues the scheduling order, decreasing the amount of time the court has to issue the scheduling order, and expanding the topics that can be addressed by a scheduling order.
  • Rule 26 - amendments encourage proportionality in discovery and seek to eliminate costs.
  • Rule 34 - amendments require specificity in objections to requests for documents.
  • Rule 37 - amendments create new requirements for preserving electronically stored information and update the procedure for sanctions for failure to do so.
  • Rule 84 and Appendix - eliminates most official forms.

This is just a quick look at some of the significant changes to the rules. The April 2015 amendments are available, here. The library also has additional resources available in print, including:

The 2015 amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure / by Steven S. Gensler. KF8820.A313 G464 2015

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