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Proposed Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Amendments
By Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, LLP, Washington, D.C.
Since their introduction 75 years ago, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure have embodied a policy of “broad and liberal” discovery, and state court procedures generally have followed suit. In the last two decades, the universal adoption of electronic mail for business communications and the decreasing cost of electronic storage have dramatically increased the cost of litigation, as liberal discovery has required extensive and expensive efforts to collect and review documents.
Responding to this growing burden, the body charged with overseeing the development of the Federal Rules, the Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure of the Judicial Conference of the United States, is proposing to amend the Federal Rules to impose important new limitations on discovery in federal civil litigation.
Know When to Pursue Witness Inconsistency and When to Let it Go
By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm
If you’ve spent any time in civil courtrooms, you’ve seen it before. The witness in the box fudges an answer and says something that differs a bit from their deposition, and the solemn ritual of impeachment begins. With great fanfare, the official copy of the deposition is unsealed. Do you remember having your deposition taken? Do you remember a court reporter being present? And you were sworn to tell the truth? And you did tell the truth? Did I ask you…? And did you answer…? After all of this buildup, the jury is now on the edge of their seats, expecting the next question to bring a full-on Perry Mason style breakdown on the stand with the fact witness now confessing to murder. What more commonly happens in an actual civil trial impeachment, however, can be a little less dramatic: a momentary difference in a timeline description, an altered recollection of one fact among many, or a somewhat higher or lower degree of certainty than was earlier conveyed.