By Pamela Wolf, J.D. In his year-end report on the federal judiciary, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts—perhaps aware of the substantial concern they have prompted among attorneys—focused on the 2015 amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The five-year project that produced the amendments was aimed at addressing “the most serious impediments to just, speedy, and efficient resolution of civil disputes,” according to the report. As to the workload among federal courts, in the 12-month period ending September 30, 2015, caseloads declined in the Supreme Court, the federal appeals courts, and the district courts, the appendix to the report states. FRCP amendments. In 2010, the Advisory Committee on Civil Rules sponsored a symposium on civil litigation, which “confirmed that, while the federal courts are fundamentally sound, in many cases civil litigation has become too expensive, time-consuming, and contentious, inhibiting effective access to the courts,” the Chief Justice noted. The symposium specifically identified the need for the following procedural reforms that would:
- encourage greater cooperation among counsel;
- focus discovery—the process of obtaining information within the control of the opposing party—on what is truly necessary to resolve the case;
- engage judges in early and active case management; and
- address serious new problems associated with vast amounts of electronically stored information.
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