Standing Committee Agenda Suggests Additional Federal Pilot Projects on the Horizon

This week, January 8-9, 2015, the Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure will meet in Phoenix, Arizona. The Agenda Book includes a December 2, 2014, Report from the Advisory Committee on Civil Rules, along with the draft minutes from the Advisory Committee's October 2014 meeting. The Report addresses the four areas discussed at the Advisory Committee's October meeting, including: 1) e-rules amendments, 2) a “bundle of topics” focused on a number of proposed rules amendments that have been submitted to the Committee over the last several years, 3) ongoing subcommittee projects, and 4) the development of pilot projects to test innovations in civil litigation.

Related to this last topic, the Report notes the “Committee devoted substantial time to exploring the possibilities of enhancing rules reform by means of pilot projects that put possible new rules into actual practice.” A Supplement to the Agenda Book is also available that includes proposed reading in anticipation of a panel discussion at this week's Standing Committee meeting. The Supplement—which includes history on voluntary disclosures, materials on simplified rules of civil procedure, the Employment Protocols Pilot Project, and information on implementing pilot programs (including IAALS' recently updated Summary of Short, Summary, and Expedited Civil Action Programs Around the Country and A Return to Trials)—suggests the discussion on additional federal pilot projects will only continue.