Northern District of Illinois Mandatory Initial Discovery Pilot Project
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois has begun a three-year pilot project to study whether standard initial discovery requests can reduce the costs of civil litigation. The project is known as the Mandatory Initial Discovery Pilot Project (MIDP). This project applies to cases filed on or after June 1, 2017.
The Standing Order requires parties to disclose both favorable and unfavorable information that is relevant to their claims and defenses, regardless of the parties’ intent to use the information. This Order is more robust than the initial disclosures that are currently required under Rule 26(a)(1). It also requires the parties to provide notice of service to the court so that the court can monitor for compliance.
The Standing Order requires mandatory participation for all civil cases in the pilot project, except those specifically exempted by the Standing Order.
The Federal Judicial Center (FJC) has compiled a checklist of the pilot project requirements to assist the parties, videos that introduce the pilots and speak to their purpose, as well as a user’s manual that talks about the key features of the MIDP.
A similar pilot project has begun in Arizona.