by Suja A. Thomas, Professor, University of Illinois College of Law
Today, the new proportionality amendment to the discovery rule goes into effect. Under this amendment, to obtain discovery, the requested material must be “proportional to the needs of the case.”
Recently, I wrote an op-ed in Law360 entitled Via Duke, Companies Shaping Discovery, which is set forth below. This introduction to that op-ed about the new discovery rule explains what led to the op-ed and briefly discusses the response to the op-ed.
The Law360 article publicizes the improper influence of privately-generated guidelines and practices (“private guidelines”) that purport to interpret the new proportionality rule. These private guidelines were created through a process led by a former leader and a former member of the Advisory Committee for the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the body that makes the rules, and the Duke Law Center for Judicial Studies—which is partially funded by major corporations and defense lawyers. As described in the Law360 piece, the guidelines favor corporations.