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Revisions Coming to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure

At Famighetti & Weinick, PLLC, we typically bring lawsuits under Federal anti-discrimination and workplace laws, which means that most of our cases are in Federal Court. One of the ways we can gain an advantage in our cases, is by understanding the rules of procedure and using them to our benefit.

In December, amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure will take effect.  The lawyers at Famighetti & Weinick have been staying abreast of the changes. Partner, Matt Weinick, even participated in a bar association committee meeting which debated some of the proposed changes and presented proposals for the bar association to accept as its official comments to the changes.

Below, is a summary of some of the key changes which will take effect.

*The time to serve complaints was shortened to 90 days from 120 days. (Rule 4(m)).

*Judges must now issue scheduling orders within 90 days after a defendant served or within 60 days after a defendant has appeared (Changed from 120 and 90) (Rule 16).

*Significantly, the scope of discovery has been redefined. Discovery must be “proportional” to the needs of the case and the rules provide some guidance to determine proportionality. (Rule 26)

*Objections to discovery demands must be specific and the response must state whether the party making the objection is withholding documents. (Rule 34).

*Recognizing the rise of electronic discovery and the need for rules concerning it in the wake of recent court decisions, the amendments address electronic discovery and, in particular, sanctions for the failure to preserve such discovery. The amendments set forth a specific test to determine whether sanctions are warranted.

If you have questions about the amendments to the Federal Rules, Federal civil practice in general, or about employment law, contact the lawyers at Famighetti & Weinick, PLLC at 631-352-0050 or


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