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
IMS ExpertServices™ is the legal industry's premier full-service expert witness provider.
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.
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
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