Federal Trade Commission Issues Final Changes to Agency Procedure

Yesterday, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced that it has issued “final changes to agency procedure that will streamline the FTC’s investigatory process, make updates to keep pace with electronic evidence discovery, and provide more detail on how the agency evaluates allegations of misconduct by attorneys practicing before the Commission.”  Among the changes highlighted in the agency’s announcement is a new requirement that parties "meet and confer with FTC staff within 14 days (with certain exceptions) to resolve electronic discovery issues relating to subpoenas and civil investigative demands (CIDs), as well as any other issues” and a change which will relieve “parties of their obligations to preserve documents related to an FTC investigation after a year passes with no written communication from Commission staff.”  Other changes include, among other things, express references to electronically stored information throughout the rules and specific amendments addressing “the manner and form of production of ESI” (§2.7(j)) and inadvertent production and waiver (§2.11(d)).  The rules become effective on November 9, 2012.

To read the agency’s press release, which includes a link to the adopted amendments, click here.

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