Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The FRCP amendments

The latest amendments to Rules 26 and 56 went into effect on December 1. The Rule 26 amendment limits the discoverability of draft reports by expert witnesses. The Rule 56 amendment is supposedly only procedural. Rule 56(b) specifies a default deadline for filing summary judgment motions, as 30 days after the close of all discovery. The typical scheduling order in the W.D. Va. shortens that period. It requires parties to cite to particular parts of the record to show the absence or presence of a genuine dispute of material fact, which seems odd. It says the Court can rely only on cited materials, or may use other parts of the record. It allows the Court to grant summary judgment for non-movants, on notice to the parties.

A further explanation of the rationale for the changes to the Rules is contained in this excerpt.

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