March 01, 2016 Articles

The 2015 Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure

By Karen A. Henry and Diana Palacios

On April 29, 2015, the United States Supreme Court adopted the package of proposed amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) that had been approved by the Civil Rules Advisory Committee. This amendment package, which went into effect on December 1, 2015, without congressional interference, represents the most significant overhaul of the rules governing civil litigation in federal court that we have seen in decades, including dramatic changes to the timing and procedures surrounding case management and a veritable sea change in the scope of discovery.

This article briefly recounts the history surrounding these changes and includes a chart summarizing the 2015 amendments, which amended Rules 1, 4, 16, 26, 30, 31, 33, 34, 37, and 55 and abrogated Rule 84 and the Appendix of Forms. Then, following the chart, some of the most notable amendments in the package are redlined and discussed more fully.

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