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Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Amended

The most recent amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure went into effect this week, introducing several changes to the treatment of discovery.

Possibly the most significant changes were made to Rule 26, which has eliminated the requirement that discovery requests be "reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence" and now explicitly states that responsive materials must be produced even if inadmissible in court.  The new version of the rule also has an increased emphasis on proportionality with a 6-factor test for balancing the interests of the parties to the litigation.

Additional substantial changes were made to Rule 37, which now applies exclusively to electronically stored information.  The rule contains new penalties for failure to preserve electronic information as well as requiring a determination of intent before any penalties can be applied.

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