Amended Rule 26 Limits Precertification Discovery

Law360, New York (December 15, 2015, 10:34 AM EST) -- The amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, effective on Dec.1, 2015, do not make any explicit changes to Rule 23 or class action procedure. But they include one change that could have a significant impact on class actions: the amendment to Rule 26 to emphasize that discovery must be “proportional to the needs of the case.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(1). Applied properly, this proportionality standard should prevent excessive precertification discovery and facilitate informed decisions on class certification.

One of the first battles in a putative class action is the scope of precertification discovery. Although there might be disagreements...

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