In partnership with the Lawyers for-Civil Justice (LCJ), this issue of the Defense Counsel Journal previews the changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure effective December 1, 2015, which will greatly impact pretrial practice in federal courts (most notably, the scope of discovery, electronic discovery, and document preservation and spoliation sanctions).
Members of the LADC and LCJ were deeply involved in commenting on these proposed rule changes. Indeed, the LADC, LCJ, and sister defense organizations DRI--The Voice of the Defense Bar and the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel submitted a joint paper on the proposed rule revisions to the Judicial Conference Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure.
Thomas Allman provides an overview of the 2015 Civil Rules package transmitted to Congress, which sets the stage for a deeper dive into the amendments providing for proportionality in discovery and the implementation of a safe harbor for document preservation in articles authored by John Jablonski, Alexander Dahl, Martha Dawson, and Bree Kelly. Also included is an amicus brief prepared by LCJ for the In re Actos litigation, which further discusses the need for limits on electronic discovery and spoliation sanctions. Collectively, these articles constitute a primer on the new rules, and will serve as a valuable resource for counsel, clients, and the courts in navigating them.
This issue of the IADC's Defense Counsel Journal reflects the organization's rich history and its longstanding role in cutting edge work and collaborations on civil justice reform. Today, the IADC is an elite international organization of around 2,500 peer-reviewed in-house counsel, insurance executives, and outside counsel representing business entities across the world. In 1920, it began as a group of general counsels who sought to foster goodwill and cooperation among those who shared common interests and challenges. The general counsel members soon invited leading lawyers to join, and began to expand to an international membership, ultimately becoming known as the International Association of Defense Counsel in 1985. Along the way, the Association created the Defense Research Institute (DRI) to provide broad-based support and education for the defense bar, and later founded LCJ to address civil justice issues, including rapidly accelerating litigation costs and runaway jury verdicts and punitive damage awards.
The IADC is now a fully international organization with members in nearly every country, and remains at the cutting edge of legal reform efforts through its Civil Justice Response and Amicus Brief Committees, as well as its continued collaborations with sister organizations such as LCJ.
Editor, Defense Counsel Journal
Partner, Haynes and Boone LLP