The Civil Rules Advisory Committee has proposed amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to address proportionality, preservation, and spoliation problems associated with today’s swiftly evolving technology. These amendments include a new Rule 37(e), which would create a uniform standard under which sanctions could be issued for failure to preserve. In Skating Along the eDiscovery Cliff: Will Newly Proposed Civil Rules Amendments Help to Refocus Litigation on the Merits? (password required), Robert D. Owen outlines the events leading to the current amendments (including IAALS’ and the ACTL Task Force on Discovery’s 2009 Final Report), the extensive work of the Committee over the last several years, and the specific rule changes under consideration that he describes as a “very positive proposal.” If adopted, the Committee hopes these amendments will result in a clearer and more uniform standard that will allow the focus of litigation to shift back to the merits.
We look forward to Part II of his series regarding proposed changes to the scope of discovery under Rule 26(b)(1).