Pretrial Practice & Discovery Committee
The Pretrial Practice & Discovery Committee is dedicated to enhancing the substantive knowledge of its members about a wide range of Pretrial Practice & Discovery issues. It keeps members abreast of legislative proposals, rule changes, and recent court decisions. To take full advantage of these benefits, we invite you to become involved in our subcommittees.
The Committee operates through its subcommittees, each of which focuses on a particular substantive or procedural topic, or which keeps the membership informed about recent developments in the law. With the help of members like you, the subcommittees can provide our membership with more in-depth information on a more frequent basis, especially in fast-growing and cutting-edge areas such as electronic discovery. Being involved also gives you the opportunity to network with some of the country's best and brightest litigators concerning topics that affect your practice every day.
Getting involved is easy! We will contact you with information about current projects. We look forward to working with you!
We hope you will take a moment to explore the Committee's latest newsletter, featuring articles on motions to dismiss, electronic discovery and drafting interrogatories. Additional articles can be found in the newsletter archive.
Attend a great CLE being sponsored by PP&D at the ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco. The program is Has the News of the Death of the Billable Hour Been Greatly Exaggerated? and it will be on Thursday, August 8, from 2:00–3:30 p.m.
For several years, observers of the legal marketplace have predicted the billable hour is a soon-to-be-extinct dinosaur that will be replaced by various alternative fee models. Many predicted the economic downturn would be just the giant meteor to speed up the extinction of the billable hour. Although alternative fee arrangements are now a mainstream method of structuring fees, the reality is that the billable hour is still prevalent. An all-star panel will examine (and in some cases reexamine) exactly where legal fees are headed in the foreseeable future. In so doing, they will discuss whether the billable hour is really inconsistent with a lawyer’s ability to deliver service to his or her clients at a value. The panel will also address the various types of alternative billing arrangements and the strengths and weaknesses of each—both from the perspective of the lawyer and the client. The panel will be interactive and seek participation and dialogue from the audience as to what is actually happening out there in the “real legal world.”
We are always looking for ways to provide timely and useful information on Pretrial Practice & Discovery to our members and the Content Subcommittee spearheads this effort through our website and newsletter. If you are interested in becoming more involved through the Content Subcommittee, please contact one of the Content cochairs: Matthew Bakota, Gregory Boyle, Seth H. Row, or Mor Wetzler.
Do you have an article idea for the committee newsletter or website? We are always looking for new, interesting, timely content to publish. Please contact our newsletter editors, Matthew Bakota, Gregory Boyle, Seth H. Row, or Mor Wetzler if you have something you would like to contribute.
The Section of Litigation provides the Sound Advice Audio Library for its members in order to share the collective wisdom of some of the world’s finest legal minds. Check out our contributions to the Sound Advice Audio Library here. If you have an idea for a sound advice piece, we can help you with that. Please contact Christopher Baucom, Steve Horace, or Justin Goggins for more information.
Our Discovery and Motion Practice Subcommittee is in the process of updating our Samples and Forms available on our website. If you have some samples or forms you would be willing to share, please email Matthew Prewitt, Jeffrey Close, or Benjamin Sanchez.
Do you have ideas for future committee activities? Do you have ways we can make this committee a more valuable resource for you? Do you have suggestions about our committee website, newsletter, or listserv emails? We value your feedback—please send an email to one of our committee cochairs, Joan Archer, Betsy Collins, or Jessica Hew with your suggestions.
Message from the Chairs
We have had a productive year thus far. Our website has added some interesting new News & Developments. Where else can you learn about the cutting-edge pretrial and discovery issues faced by every trial lawyer? Our December telephone Roundtable on Civility and Objections in Litigation gave us a chance to hear from two federal judges concerning their views on discovery. We also are hosting a Roundtable later this month called “The Best Defense Is a Good Offense: How to Proactively Prepare Your Witness for a Successful Deposition.” You can sign up here. We published another outstanding newsletter with our Winter 2013 issue, which includes articles on trial-motion practice pointers, e-discovery and new ethics rules, and tips for using expert witnesses when you prepare summary-judgment motions.
We have some projects in the works for which we need volunteers. A recent ABA survey indicated that what our members want the most are forms. We need your help in creating the best, most-visited database of pretrial practice & discovery forms around. Contact Jeff Close if you are able to help out. We also always need articles (750–2,500 words), as well as News and Developments pieces (100–750 words). Contact any member of our Content Committee: Seth Row, Mor Wetzler, Adam Braveman, or Greg Boyle, if you are interested.
Finally, we are excited about coming back to the Windy City for this year’s Section Annual Conference, which will be at the J.W. Marriott in downtown Chicago April 24–26. We will have a committee dinner Wednesday evening, as well as a committee lunch meeting on Friday. There will be a chance to attend some great CLEs and other networking opportunities as well. Register now!
We look forward to meeting many of you in Chicago!
Cochairs, Pretrial Practice & Discovery Committee
Our active subcommittees include:
- Electronic Discovery
- Emerging Issues & Distance Learning/Podcasts
- Iqbal Taskforce
- Motion Practice
Find contact information for committee and subcommittee chairs: