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Materials About the Federal Rules

The materials listed below, produced or made available by the Center, are related to the Federal Rules of Procedure (civil, criminal, evidence, appellate, and bankruptcy).

For a list of projects or other reports of FJC research that the Center has published, click on Research Projects or Reports and Studies.

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Managing Discovery of Electronic Information: A Pocket Guide for Judges [Superseded]

This pocket guide helps federal judges manage the discovery of electronically stored information (ESI). It covers issues unique to the discovery of ESI, including its scope, the allocation of costs, the form of production, the waiver of privilege and work product protection, and the preservation of data and spoliation.

Superseded by Managing Discovery of Electronic Information: A Pocket Guide for Judges, Second Edition (2012).

Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Fed. R. Civil P. 26, Fed. R. Civil P. 45, Federal Rules of Evidence, Fed. R. Evid. 502 January 1, 2007
Managing Discovery of Electronic Information: A Pocket Guide for Judges, Second Edition [Superseded]

This second-edition pocket guide helps federal judges manage the discovery of electronically stored information (ESI). It encourages judges to actively manage cases that involve ESI through early intervention and sustained supervision and to use the many tools available to themcase-management conferences and orders, limits on discovery, tiered or phased discovery, sampling, cost shifting, and, if necessary, sanctionsto facilitate cooperation among opposing lawyers and to ensure that discovery is fair, reasonable, and proportional to each case. It covers issues unique to the discovery of ESI, including its scope, the allocation of costs, the form of production, the waiver of privilege and work product protection, and the preservation of data and spoliation.

Superseded by Managing Discovery of Electronic Information, Third Edition (2017).

Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Fed. R. Civil P. 26, Fed. R. Civil P. 45, Federal Rules of Evidence, Fed. R. Evid. 502 May 21, 2012
Mandatory Initial Discovery Pilot Project Checklist for the Northern District of Illinois

A checklist itemizing the procedural requirements of the Mandatory Initial Discovery Pilot Project. The checklist is designed to be helpful to judges presiding over pilot cases and to attorneys participating in pilot cases as pilot requirements apply to the initial stages of discovery. The pilot project begins in the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, on June 1, 2017.

A Federal Judicial Center website displays additional information about the Mandatory Initial Discovery Pilot Project in the Northern District of Illinois.

Federal Rules of Civil Procedure May 20, 2017
Mandatory Initial Discovery Pilot Project Electronic Filing Guide for the Northern District of Illinois

The Northern District of Illinois has created a specific list of events dedicated to the filing of pleadings under the Mandatory Initial Discovery Pilot Project. The complete list of pilot events are:

   Joint Certification to Defer Initial Discovery Deadline (Settlement)(MIDP)
   Motion to Defer Initial Discovery Response Deadline (MIDP)
   Motion to Defer Responsive Pleading Deadline (MIDP)
   Notice of Service of Responses to Mandatory Initial Discovery (MIDP)
   Notice of Service of Supplemental Mandatory Initial Discovery Responses (MIDP)
   Rule 26(f) Report re MIDP
   Stipulation re No Discovery Will Be Conducted (MIDP)

A Federal Judicial Center website displays additional information about the Mandatory Initial Discovery Pilot Project in the Northern District of Illinois.

Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Fed. R. Civil P. 26 May 18, 2017
Mandatory Initial Discovery Pilot Project Model Checklist

A checklist itemizing the procedural requirements of the Mandatory Initial Discovery Pilot Project. The checklist is designed to be helpful to judges presiding over pilot cases and to attorneys participating in pilot cases as pilot requirements apply to the initial stages of discovery. The pilot project is scheduled to begin in participating courts as early as May 1, 2017.

Currently there are two courts participating in this pilot project:

 
A Federal Judicial Center website displays additional information about the Mandatory Initial Discovery Pilot Project.

Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure November 1, 2018
Mandatory Initial Discovery Pilot Project Model Standing Order

Beginning as early as May 1, 2017, some district courts are participating in a three-year pilot project known as the “Mandatory Initial Discovery Pilot Project,” which is studying whether requiring parties in civil cases to respond to a series of standard discovery requests before undertaking other discovery reduces the cost and delay of civil litigation. In this pilot project, when making mandatory initial discovery responses parties are required to disclose both favorable and unfavorable information that is relevant to their claims or defenses regardless of whether they intend to use the information in their cases.

Participating district courts have adopted a Standing Order explaining the parties’ obligations under the pilot project and setting forth the initial discovery requests to which the parties must respond. All civil cases, except those categories of cases exempted by the Standing Order, are included in the pilot program and subject to the Standing Order.

These are some of the key requirements under the Standing Order:

  • At the Rule 26(f) conference, parties must discuss the mandatory initial discovery listed in the Standing Order and describe their discussions (including limitations invoked and disputes) in their Rule 26(f) report.
  • Parties must provide the requested information as to facts that are relevant to the parties’ claims and defenses, whether favorable or unfavorable, and regardless of whether they intend to use the information in presenting their claims and defenses. 
  • Parties must file answers, counterclaims, cross-claims, and replies within the set in Rule 12(a)(1)–(3), even if they have filed or intend to file a motion to dismiss or other preliminary motion. 
  • Parties must serve their initial discovery responses by the deadlines described in the Standing Order unless modified by the court.
  • Parties must address certain issues relating to electronically stored information (ESI) and produce ESI by the deadline set in the Standing Order.
  • Pilot judges should hold initial case-management conferences within the time set in Rule 16(b)(2) and discuss the parties’ compliance with the mandatory discovery obligations.

 
Currently there are two courts participating in this pilot project:

 
A Federal Judicial Center website displays additional information about the Mandatory Initial Discovery Pilot Project.

Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure December 1, 2018
Mandatory Initial Discovery Pilot Project Model Users' Manual

A detailed description of the Mandatory Initial Discovery Pilot Project, which began in participating courts as early as May 1, 2017.

Currently there are two courts participating in this pilot project:

 
A Federal Judicial Center website displays additional information about the Mandatory Initial Discovery Pilot Project.

Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure November 1, 2018
Mandatory Initial Discovery Pilot Project Users' Manual for the Northern District of Illinois

A detailed description of the Mandatory Initial Discovery Pilot Project, which begins for participating judges in the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, on June 1, 2017.

A Federal Judicial Center website displays additional information about the Mandatory Initial Discovery Pilot Project in the Northern District of Illinois.

Federal Rules of Civil Procedure July 4, 2017
Mass Tort Settlement Class Actions: Five Case Studies

This report by Professor Jay Tidmarsh of Notre Dame Law School examines five cases in which Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure has been used to achieve a settlement of a mass tort controversy. The reason for studying mass tort settlement class actions is simple: Using class actions for this purpose has been, and is, controversial. The mass tort settlement class action was the subject of a significant decision in the last term of the Supreme Court, and it is also the subject of a proposed amendment to Rule 23 that has been under consideration by the Advisory Committee on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. There has been considerable debate both about the idea of settlement class actions in general and about the proposed amendment in particular. There have also been a number of case studies or anecdotal descriptions about mass torts in which settlement classes have been used. Thus far, however, the studies and descriptions have been narrowly focused on only one case or on only some of the issues relevant to the propriety of settlement class actions.

Fed. R. Civil P. 23 January 1, 1998
Mass Torts Problems and Proposals: A Report to the Mass Torts Working Group (Appendix C)

The Mass Torts Working Group, appointed in 1998 by the Chief Justice, asked the Center to conduct a literature review examining problems related to mass torts and to discuss proposals for resolving those problems. This report is the result of that research. It identifies fourteen distinct problems and discusses a variety of case-management, legislative, and rule-making proposals to ameliorate those problems.

This report is reprinted at 187 Federal Rules Decisions 328 (1999).

Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Fed. R. Civil P. 23 January 1, 1999

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