In-house Bar Files Comment Letter Aimed to Reduce the Excessive Costs and Burdens of FRCP Discovery Rules

Posted: Feb 19, 2014

WASHINGTON (February 19, 2014) — The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC), a global bar association representing more than 33,000 in-house counsel in 85 countries, filed comments recently with the Advisory Committee on Civil Rules supporting proposed amendments to limit the scope of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedures (FRCP) discovery rules.

In its letter, ACC states that the proposed changes are "an important step towards reducing the exorbitant cost, undue delay and unseemly gamesmanship associated with federal court litigation today." ACC further argues that "the excessive costs and burdens of discovery rules" have a "disparate impact on corporations" whether they act as plaintiffs or defendants. As a result, many companies settle cases before considering their merit in order to avoid federal court discovery requirements that have "spiraled out of control."

Specifically, among other portions of the Rules, ACC supports proposed Rule 37(e)(1), which would provide a uniform standard across the United States for all discoverable information. ACC argues that the change would significantly reduce the expenses and burdens of over-preservation. Despite overall support for the suggested modifications, ACC also urges the Advisory Committee to expand proposed changes related to sanctions for information loss. "It is very important for in-house counsel to be able to make decisions about preservation without the standard being perfection," the comments state.

The Advisory Committee will likely issue a decision in the next six months. To read the ACC comment letter, visit www.acc.com/advocacy.

 

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