It would seem fairly elementary to say that the court system in this country must remain open and fair to all persons who seek justice. But in the past 20 years a system has developed that has become “hostile” to ordinary folks in some jurisdictions – both federal and state. That’s a sad commentary on a system that should be totally independent and fair to all. Recently, some amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure were proposed by the Federal Rules Committee. The proposed changes relate to the scope of discovery as defined by Rule 26 (b) (1), the reduced presumptive limits on discovery devices, and the elimination of Rule 84 and the Forms.
In my opinion, the current rules already favor corporate Defendants in complex litigation and specifically in cases involving defective products and unsafe drugs. I have great difficulty in understanding exactly what problem the committee seeks to solve. As in 1993 and 2000, the committee is focused on addressing a perceived problem of excessive discovery costs. This problem is caused in large part by recurring abuses of the discovery rules by corporate Defendants.
Studies have shown clearly that in almost all cases discovery costs are modest and proportionate to the issues involved in the specific case. As in those two studies, there is scant evidence of system-wide abuse by lawyers representing Plaintiffs that increases costs. The proposed amendments are not designed to address the small subset of problematic cases that appear to be driving the rule changes. The fact that abuse by corporate Defendants during pretrial discovery is ignored by the committee is troubling.
In my opinion, the amendments are unnecessary, unwarranted and absolutely counterproductive. If reform of the rules is needed, I suggest that the committee look at the pattern of discovery abuses by corporate Defendants. These amendments, if adopted, will undermine meaningful access to the courts by ordinary folks. Such changes will also impede enforcement of federal and state recognized rights. Hopefully, the committee will realize that these changes are totally unnecessary and reject them.
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.