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American Bar Association

 

Pretrial Practice & Discovery Committee

Mission

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.

 

Join this Committee


 
Announcements

March 16: Free Roundtable


The Line Between Opinion and Fact Work Product: Why it Matters and Strategies to Protect Your Work Product From Disclosure


Wednesday, March 16, 2016 at 1:00–2:00 p.m. Eastern

Presented by the Commercial & Business Litigation Committee and co-sponsored by the Pretrial Practice and Discovery Committee


Register here.


March 31: Free Roundtable


Privilege and Ethics in Working with Your Expert


Thursday, March 31, 2016 at 12:30–1:15 p.m. Eastern


Interactions between lawyers and expert witnesses are bound to pose ethical questions. These may range from lawyers’ and experts’ ethical obligations in connection with selection and engagement of an expert, to witness preparation, ex parte contacts, discovery of expert materials, fee arrangements, conflicts, rules of conduct, and even reasons to sanction or disqualify experts or exclude their evidence. Join us for a discussion of these and other questions faced by both lawyers and experts.


Speakers: Irwin Warren, Weil, Gotshal & Manges and Jason Halper, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe
Moderator: Tiago Duarte-Silva, Charles River Associates


Presented by the Securities Litigation Committee and co-sponsored by the Ethics & Professionalism, Pretrial Practice & Discovery, and Commercial & Business Litigation Committees


Register here.


Rules Amendments Roadshow—March/April 2016


“Hello ‘Proportionality,’ Goodbye ‘Reasonably Calculated’: Reinventing Case Management and Discovery Under the 2015 Civil Rules Amendments”


Co-presented with Duke Law School
Register at http://www.frcpamendments2015.org/


The 2015 amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which took effect on December 1, 2015, have ushered in the most significant changes to discovery and case-management practices in more than a decade. Chief Justice Roberts devoted his entire 2015 Year-End Report on the Federal Judiciary to these amendments, explaining: “The 2015 civil rules amendments are a major stride toward a better federal court system. But they will achieve the goal of Rule 1—‘the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of every action and proceeding’—only if the entire legal community, including the bench, bar, and legal academy, step up to the challenge of making real change.” This groundbreaking half-day program, part of a multi-city national tour, features an in-depth discussion of the amendments to Rules 16, 26, and 37, and their potential for bringing about “real change.” It will feature national thought leaders, who will walk the audience through the Amendments and their implications, and spirited panel discussions among local district judges, magistrate judges, and leading litigators. The goal: to further the understanding of case-management techniques that will help courts and litigants realize the amendments’ full potential to make discovery more targeted, less expensive, and more effective in achieving justice.


Join us for the Roadshow in the following cities:


Phoenix: March 3, 2016 (or stream live in Tucson!)
Denver: March 4, 2016
Dallas: March 31, 2016
Miami: April 1, 2016


Register here.


Publish an Article!

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, Tracy DiFillippo, Mor Wetzler, Angela Fetcher, Ethan Tidmore, Kyle Kitson, or Jason Wiley if you have something you would like to contribute.


We Want to Hear from You!

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, Kenneth Klemm, Rob Will, or Bobby Poundstone with your suggestions.


 
Message from the Chairs

The Pretrial Practice and Discovery Committee has had a productive year thus far. Our website has added some new Practice Points, Sound Advice podcasts, and other content that all provide up-to-date information on the latest developments in pretrial practice and discovery. We also publish a newsletter, the latest issue of which includes articles on the work-product doctrine, expert discovery, technology-assisted document reviews, requests for admissions, and other relevant topics. In the coming months, we will be featuring content on the most sweeping changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure in over a decade, which are set to take effect on December 1. Of particular interest, the revised Federal Rules include the adoption of a new “proportionality” standard to define the scope of discovery in place of the familiar “reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence” standard that has been in place for decades.


We continue to be very active in sponsoring CLE programs at ABA conferences and meetings, as well as conducting roundtables, which provide our committee members remote access to educational presentations without the burden of travel. For example, we have recently conducted the following programs and roundtables:


  • For the Record, from Start to Finish: Your Case on Appeal Can Be Greatly Improved by Focusing on Potential Appellate Issues at Every Step of the Litigation Process
  • iLitigation: Essential Apps and Websites for Litigators
  • The Data Abyss: Clients, Where Do Your Documents Go When the Case Is Closed?
  • Disruptive Innovation and the Legal Services Market: Are Upsets on the Horizon?
  • Lawyers Behaving Badly: Curbing Abusive Tactics in Deposition and Motion Practice
  • Early Case Assessment and Other Initial Stages of Complex Litigation
  • Playing Defense: Preparing Your Client for Deposition
  • Proposed Changes to the Federal Rules

If you have an idea for a CLE program or would like to assist with programming, our programs subcommittee cochairs, Kevin Broughel and Ann Hill, would love to hear from you. We are also actively seeking volunteers to produce written materials for our committee. If you are interested in writing an article (750–2,500 words) or a Practice Point (100–750 words), please contact any member of our content subcommittee: Tracy DiFillippo, Mor Wetzler, Angela Fetcher, Ethan Tidmore, Kyle Kitson or Jason Wiley. If you would like to interact with our committee members firsthand before deciding in which of our many subcommittees you would like to be involved, we would be more than happy for you to participate in one of our monthly committee teleconferences. Please contact one of us for the call-in information.


Finally, we are excited about coming to the Chicago for this year’s Section Annual Conference, which will be held at the Ritz Carlton & Four Seasons on April 13–15. It is a great opportunity to attend extraordinary CLE programs and to network with members of our Pretrial Practice & Discovery Committee. Please join us in Chicago and stop by to say hello during the committee expo.

Kenneth Klemm
Rob Will
Bobby Poundstone


Cochairs, Pretrial Practice & Discovery Committee


 
Subcommittees

 

Our active subcommittees include:


  • Books
  • Content
  • Membership/Diversity
  • Motion Practice and Discovery
  • E-discovery
  • Emerging Issues and Distance Learning/Podcasts
  • Programming
  • Roundtable
  • Regional Meetings

 

Find contact information for committee and subcommittee chairs:


Navigant Partners

Nathan Huber-Fliflet

Washington, D.C.


Diane Quick

Chicago, IL

 
 

Pretrial Practice & Discovery Leadership

Cochairs Content Subcommittee

Kenneth Klemm

New Orleans, LA


Robert Will

St. Louis, MO


Robert Poundstone

Montgomery, AL


Tracy DiFillippo

Las Vegas, NV


Angela Fetcher

Louisville, KY


Kyle Kitson

Kansas City, MO


Ethan Tidmore

Birmingham, AL


Mor Wetzler

New York, NY


Jason Wiley

Las Vegas, NV