US: Changes to E-Filings, Unpublished Decisions and E-Discovery

Tue, 15 Jun 2006 13:10:00 EST

Firasat M. Ali and Arturo E. Sandoval report that on the 12th of April 2006, the United States Supreme Court approved new amendments and rules to the Federal Rules of Appellate and Civil Procedure. Unless Congress enacts legislation to reject, modify or defer them, these amendments and rules will take effect on the 1st of December 2006.

"First, the Advisory Committee on Civil Rules proposed that FRCP 5 be amended to authorize a court to require electronic case filing via local rule. Civil Rule 5(e) currently authorizes a court to adopt local rules that 'permit' a party to file papers by electronic means."

"Second, the Appellate Rules Committee proposed a rule (Rule 32.1) allowing the citation in briefs of unpublished opinions, orders or other judicial dispositions designated as 'non-precedential.' The rule would supersede limitations imposed on such citations by circuit rules."

"Finally, the committee proposed amendments to various civil rules regarding discovery of electronically stored information. It also proposed changes to Rules 26, 33 and 34. The proposed amendment to Rule 26(f) would require parties to confer on issues relating to disclosure or discovery of electronically stored information ... The new Rule 33 would clarify that a party may answer an interrogatory involving review of business records by providing access to e-files if the interrogating party can find the information as readily as the responding party. The proposed amendment to Rule 34 would authorize a requesting party to specify the form of production, such as in paper or electronic form, and for the responding party to object."

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