As most attorneys who practice in federal court no doubt have heard, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure recently were amended to call more clearly for cooperation among litigants and proportionality in discovery, as well as to clarify the penalties and burdens of proof related to failure to preserve electronically stored information (ESI). (The amendments also shorten the deadlines for service of summons and the initial scheduling conference under Rule 16, among other changes, but this article focuses on the amendments related more specifically to discovery.) Subsequent articles in this quarter’s edition of Woman Advocate drill down into specific subsets and effects on practice of the recent amendments—which took effect December 1, 2015. This introductory piece is, therefore, written to provide a high-level overview of the new amendments that are most significant to the conduct of discovery: the amendments to Rules 16, 26, 34, and 37.
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