Massachusetts Amendments to Civil Discovery

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court adopted discovery amendments, made effective on January 1, 2014, that mirror the 2006 Federal Amendments regarding electronically stored information (ESI). In particular, the Court amended Rule 26(f)(4) to permit objections to the production of inaccessible ESI on the basis of weighing the benefits against the burdens of production. The proportionality limits for ESI also apply to accessible sources, in the interest of justice, subject to factors that have been specified by the Court (see Rule 26(f)).

Amendments to Rule 26(c) of the Massachusetts Rules of Civil Procedure, effective July 1, 2016, add factors to determine whether discovery is unduly burdensome in connection with the issuance of protective orders. The Committee made a conscious decision to refuse to amend the scope of discovery to incorporate proportionality at this time, favoring a “wait and see” attitude toward proportional discovery.

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