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
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
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
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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