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Federal Discovery Rules Impact Electronic Discovery

2006 | Topics: Business Litigation, Class Actions, Product Liability, Warranty

Amendments to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26, expected to become effective December 1, 2006, will require parties to produce electronically stored information to party opponents without waiting for a discovery request unless the stored information is not reasonably accessible due to cost or burden.  Under the new rules, as approved by the U.S. Supreme Court, the parties are required to meet and confer at least 21 days before the Rule 16(b) scheduling conference to, among other things, discuss any issues related to disclosure or discovery of electronically stored data.  This rule will require litigators and in-house counsel to have communicated fully prior to the conference regarding the information contained on the company’s data system and how it is stored so that counsel can negotiate reasonable time frames and limitations for the production.