Commercial Litigation and Arbitration

January 2009 Meeting of the Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure

On Tuesday, January 13, 2009, I moderated a panel discussion at the meeting of the Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure of the U.S. Judicial Conference. The topic was Problems in Civil Litigation and Possible Reforms. The materials included my article Federal Litigation: Where Did It Go Off Track? (available on the Recent Articles page -- and a forthcoming report from the Discovery Task Force of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System. The Report proposes for consideration a series of principles, from different sets of rules for different kinds of cases to fact-based pleading to expanded disclosure and restricted discovery. The Report is expected to be considered by the College’s Board of Regents in late February and, if approved, to be posted on the College’s website ( shortly thereafter. It is stimulating and well worth reading. Given that three of the College Task Force members are also members of the Board of Regents, and in light of the high quality of the Report, I anticipate that it will be approved without difficulty.

I understand that the pending amendments to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 26 and 56 were also discussed by the Standing Committee, although I was not present for the discussion. I am led to believe that prospects are bright for the Rule 26 amendments (which is good news) and perhaps more tentative for the Rule 56 amendments (which, in my view, is also good news). See our posts of July 27 and 28, 2008.

Share this article:


Recent Posts