A Holiday Gift: Making Lawsuits Speedier and Less Expensive

Even though it is the holiday season, nobody wants to get or give the ‘gift’ of civil litigation in a US Federal court. Not even a lawyer (I’m personally hoping for tickets to Bruce Springsteen’s new River tour, but I digress). I have spent a bit of virtual ink on this blog writing about how Irish and Northern Irish companies can avoid going to a US courthouse (I used a fancy phrase like ‘mitigate US litigation risk’), and I stand by that guidance. But if you do find yourself in a US Federal Court, some new amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure aim to make civil suits speedier and less expensive.  My colleague Ed Cadagin has written a client update on these amendments.  The takeaways: the revised rules (i) shorten the timelines for actions such as serving the defendant and issuing scheduling orders; and (ii) limit discovery to that which is “proportional to the needs of the case,” replacing the former discovery standard of “reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.” Ed’s full client alert can be read here. If you have to litigate here (and there will be times where US litigation is necessary), these rules should help make the experience more efficient for Irish and Northern Irish litigants.