New Federal Rule on Experts Takes Effect December 1, 2010
Reprinted with permission.
New Federal Rule on Experts Takes Effect December 1
by Robert Ambrogi
Bullseye: November 2010
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A major revision to Rule 26 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure takes effect Dec. 1, bringing about a significant change in the long-standing procedure governing expert witness reports.
No longer will Rule 26 require full discovery of draft expert reports and broad disclosure of any communications between an expert and trial counsel, as has been the case ever since the rule's revision in 1993.
Instead, those communications will now come under the protection of the work-product doctrine. The new rule will prohibit discovery of draft expert reports and limit discovery of attorney-expert communications. Still allowed will be full discovery of the expert's opinions and of the facts or data used to support them.
Robert J. Ambrogi is a Massachusetts lawyer who represents clients at the intersection of law, media and technology. A news media veteran, he is the only person ever to hold the top editorial positions at the two leading national U.S. legal newspapers, the National Law Journal and Lawyers Weekly USA. He is also internationally known for his writing and blogging about the Internet and technology.
The rule was approved by the U.S. Judicial Conference in September 2009. The Supreme Court approved the change to the rule in April of 2010 and submitted it to Congress. By law, if Congress takes no action to reject, modify or defer the proposed rule, it takes effect on Dec. 1.
John K. Rabiej, attorney advisor on court rules to the Judicial Conference, confirmed that Congress has taken no action and that the rule will take effect on Dec. 1.
This article was originally published in BullsEye, a newsletter distributed by IMS ExpertServices™. IMS Expert Services is the premier expert witness search firm in the legal industry, focused exclusively on providing custom expert witness searches to attorneys. To read this and other legal industry BullsEye publications, please visit IMS Expert Services' recent articles. For your next expert witness search, call us at 877-838-8464 or visit our website.
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