Minnesota Implements Pilot Expedited Litigation Track to Address Issues of Cost and Delay
The Minnesota Supreme Court continues to implement rule changes stemming from the recommendations of its Civil Justice Reform Task Force. On May 7, 2013, the Court adopted an Order authorizing the creation of a Pilot Expedited Civil Litigation Track in the First Judicial District in Dakota County and the Sixth Judicial District in St. Louis County in Duluth. The purposes of the Expedited Litigation Track are “to promote efficiency in the processing of certain civil cases, reduce cost to the parties and the court system, maintain a system for resolution of claims that is relevant to the parties, and provide a quick and reduced-cost process for obtaining a jury trial when civil actions cannot be resolved by judicial decision (dispositive motions) or by settlement.” The rules include extensive initial disclosures, an abbreviated discovery process, and the setting of a trial date to begin no later than 120 to 180 days following filing of the action. In its Order, the Court also adopted additional amendments to the Rules of Civil Procedure addressing the timing of initial disclosures and discovery. The Pilot Project, as well as all the recent amendments, will go into effect July 1, 2013.