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IAALS Online National Conversations About Continuous Improvement of the American legal System

Rebecca Love Kourlis Discusses Proposed Federal Amendments—a “Step Toward Change”

Brittany Kauffman Posted in Rule One

IAALS Executive Director Rebecca Love Kourlis recently joined John J. Jablonski, a partner with Goldberg Segalla, in a discussion about the proposed federal rule amendments, as published by the Washington Legal Foundation in their “Conversations With . . .” series. Former Attorney General of the United States and Pennsylvania Governor Dick Thornburgh led the discussion, which focused on the state of civil litigation in America, the federal discovery reform efforts, the proposed Federal Rule of Civil Procedure changes, and what else is needed to improve the discovery process.

Kourlis noted that “Discovery is a major culprit in cost-delay escalation. It can sometimes be the tail wagging the dog: driving costs and causing delay without shedding much light on the factual issues in the case.” While Kourlis called the rules a “step toward change” that would provide judges with better management tools, she also stressed that “judges need to live up to their side of the bargain by focusing attention on the case(s) and working with the attorneys to achieve proportionality in a fair and cost-effective way—and by enforcing their orders when and as necessary.”

Last month, IAALS hosted A Forum for Understanding and Comment on the Proposed Federal Rules Amendments for a group of approximately forty lawyers, academics, and judges, and the importance of effective judicial case management resonated there as well. IAALS is compiling the comments from that Forum and will be submitting them to the Civil Rules Advisory Committee for its consideration.