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Federal Rules of Civil Procedure

The California Employment Lawyers Association's Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Task Force is hard at work to address proposed changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP), the rules that govern discovery in federal court for civil cases, including cases involving whistleblowers and employment discrimination, harassment and retaliation in the workplace. The FRCP Task Force is coordinating with other civil rights organizations nationwide, and has already and will continue to provide testimony regarding how these draconian changes to the rules will severely hurt civil rights in employment and lead to widespread abuses in employment going unchecked and unchallenged.
 
The Judicial Conference of the United States is proposing to change drastically the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to limit discovery significantly. These changes would benefit corporate wrongdoers trying to hide information in a case. The result would be not only that victims might be unable to build needed evidence to prove their case, but also that the wider public, including policy and advocacy groups, might never learn core facts about corporate wrongdoing.
 
The proposed changes are significant and can adversely impact competent representation of workers in federal court. Such changes include limitations on written discovery ( i.e., the number of Rule 34 requests for production will be limited to only 25, the number of requests for admission will be limited to 25, the presumptive number of interrogatories will be reduced from 25 to 15), as well as a reduction of the presumptive time limit per deposition from one day of 7 hours to one day of 6 hours, and a reduction of the presumptive limit on depositions from 10 to 5.
 
A six-month public comment period opened on the proposed amendments on August 15, 2013. Public hearings will be held during this public comment period. The first of three hearings was held in Washington, DC on November 7, 2013; the second will be in Phoenix, AZ on January 9, 2014; and the third in Dallas, TX on February 7, 2014. All comments submitted to the Advisory Committee earlier this year have been docketed on the regulations.gov website that is being used for submissions during the public comment period.
 
CELA would like to thank the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) for allowing us to incorporate portions of their FRCP page on our website. NELA's Stop Federal Rules Changes page includes links to valuable documents.

IMPORTANT DATES

December 9, 2013
Requests to Testify Due for 1/9/14 Hearing

January 9, 2014
Second Public Hearing -- Phoenix, AZ

January 7, 2014
Requests to Testify Due for 2/7/14 Hearing

February 7, 2014
Final Public Hearing -- Dallas, TX

February 15, 2014
All Written Comments Due

 

CELA Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure Task Force

Wendy Musell, Chair
Kathy Bernick
David deRubertis
Kathy Dickson
Barbara Figari
Paul Glusman
Joan Herrington
Phil Horowitz
Janet Koehn
Therese Lawless
Lisa Peck
Peter Rukin
Christian Schreiber
Richard Vaznaugh
Samuel Wells
Mariko Yoshihara

Click here to submit your comments to the CELA FRCP Task Force

 

Submit Comments Directly to the Federal Court Advisory Committee

Comments are due no later than February 15, 2014.

We encourage you to submit your comments by December 9, 2013, one month prior to the second public hearing.

Click here to submit your comments electronically.

Hard copy submissions may be mailed to the following address:

Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure
Administrative Office of the United States Courts
One Columbus Circle, NE
Suite 7-240
Washington, DC 20544

All comments are made part of the official record and are available to the public.

 

California Employment Lawyers Association   •   Phone: (818) 703-0587   •   Fax: (818) 703-0591