California Judicial Council Seeks Public Comment on Proposed E-Discovery Amendments

To modernize civil discovery law and improve the procedures for handling the discovery of electronically stored information, the Judicial Council of California has proposed amending California’s Civil Discovery Act and two rules in the California Rules of Court on the management of civil cases.

The proposal has two parts.  First, it would amend the Civil Discovery Act (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 2016.010 et seq.) to include new provisions relating to electronic discovery and would add two new sections relating to electronic discovery to the act.  Second, the proposal would amend two case management rules in the California Rules of Court (rules 3.724 and 3.728) to encourage parties to identify and discuss issues relating to electronic discovery early in the course of litigation and to encourage courts to address these issues in case management orders.  These rule amendments are closely connected with, and are intended to assist in implementing, the proposed legislation.  The rule proposals would not go forward without the legislation.

Click to view the full proposal and invitation to comment:  Electronic Discovery: Legislation and Rules

The deadline for comments is Friday, January 25, 2008.  Comments may be submitted through the Judicial Council’s online comment form, or by regular mail to the following address:

Judicial Council
Attn. Camilla Kieliger
455 Golden Gate Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94102

The current proposal follows a somewhat similar rules proposal in early 2006, which would have amended rule 212 (on civil case management) to include new provisions relating to electronic discovery.  At that time, however, the committee decided not to go forward with the proposed rule changes by themselves, having concluded that any such changes should be part of a more comprehensive approach to electronic discovery.  It believed that merely discussing electronic discovery issues, without having a comprehensive statutory framework for addressing these issues, would have only limited value.  Thus, the committee has worked with members of attorney organizations to develop the current proposal, which it describes as principally statutory with some supporting changes in the civil case management rules.

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