Rule 502 Is Now In Effect: What Will It Really Change?

Law360, New York (September 29, 2008, 12:00 AM EDT) -- On Friday, Sep. 19, President Bush signed into law new Federal Rule of Evidence 502, which takes immediate effect. Its purpose, in the words of the Senate report, is to address the “dramatic litigation cost increases” in America created by “[o]utdated law affecting inadvertent disclosure” and the “stark increase in [the volume of] discovery materials.”[1]

It remains to be seen whether this rule will have the intended effect.

Background. Our country’s reigning philosophy of full pretrial disclosure made its first appearance in 1938, when the Federal...
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