From NFPA: A Primer on the New Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure

This article appeared in the December 2015 Issue of NFPA News, Volume 5, Issue 6

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Written by Bob Sweat, Open Door Solutions, LLP, Dallas, Texas

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, nor do I pretend to be one on TV. You should seek the advice of a licensed attorney as to the correctness or implication of any statements made herein.
While we were all recovering from the eating hangover of too much Thanksgiving dinner and leftovers, Amendments to the F.R.C.P. went quietly into effect on December 1st, 2015.

How the courts will enforce and interpret them is the big question. Several rules have been amended focusing on three main areas: Early Case Management, Proportionality and Preservation of electronically stored information (ESI).

A quick note of key Rules changed:
• Rule 1. Scope and Purpose
• Rule 4. Summons
• Rule 16. Pretrial Conferences; Scheduling; Management
• Rule 26. Duty to Disclose; General Provisions Governing Discovery
• Rule 30. Depositions by Oral Examination
• Rule 31. Depositions by Written Questions
• Rule 33. Interrogatories to Parties
• Rule 34. Producing Documents, Electronically Stored Information, and Tangible Things, or Entering onto Land, for Inspection and Other Purposes
• Rule 37. Failure to Make Disclosures or to Cooperate in Discovery; Sanctions
• Rule 55. Default and Default Judgment.
• Rule 84 & the Appendix of Forms. Abrogation of Rule 84 and the Appendix of Form.

The courts will pay considerably more attention to how eDiscovery is handled by attorneys and their clients. No longer can one turn a blind eye to eDiscovery. The new Amendments encourage Courts and Parties to use the rules to secure just, speedy and inexpensive litigation.

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Bob Sweat holds a Paralegal Certificate in Civil Litigation with Computer Emphasis and a Certificate in Project Management. His college education is in Business and Economics. Bob has presented CLE’s, webinars, seminars, and written articles on a variety of topics for the Institute for Paralegal Education, the State Bar of Texas Paralegal Division, Estrin LegalEd, the Organization of Legal Professionals, KNOW the magazine for Paralegals, Dallas Area Paralegal Association, North Texas Paralegal Association, the Fort Worth Paralegal Association, Litigation Support Managers Associations newsletters in Austin, Chicago, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and other cities. Bob currently owns RwS Consulting & Legal Support and works closely with Open Door Solutions in Dallas, a company he helped found in 2002.

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