Blog Posts by Brittany Kauffman

Brittany Kauffman
Last year the Civil Rules Advisory Committee took up the topic of Rule 30(b)(6) depositions following the submittal of a letter by members of the Council and Federal Practice Task Force of the ABA Section of Litigation, in their individual capacities. Unlike individual depositions, Rule 30(b)(6) depositions are...
Brittany Kauffman
This month the Northern District of Illinois launched a three-year pilot project, known as the Mandatory Initial Discovery Pilot Project (MIDP). The pilot project requires robust mandatory initial discovery with the goal of reducing cost and delay in civil litigation. Through a General Order, the court has ordered...
Brittany Kauffman
Mark Staines
In 1791, the Founding Fathers built the right to a trial by jury into the Bill of Rights in the form of the Seventh Amendment. The right to a jury trial was, and still is, seen as a cornerstone of the civil justice system in this country. So why is it that despite massive increases in civil lawsuit filings we see...
Brittany Kauffman
The last ten years has seen an intense and almost singular focus on discovery. E-discovery has been a big reason for this, given its impact on the entire discovery process from identification to production. The cost and delay in litigation has ballooned, making our legal system largely inaccessible for most. This is...
Brittany Kauffman
In July 2016, the Conference of Chief Justices and the Conference of State Court Administrators recognized the important needs of litigants in our state courts and responded by adopting a set of 13 Recommendations focused on ensuring our courts are affordable, efficient, and fair for all. With the support of the State...
Brittany Kauffman
Mark Staines
Debtor’s prisons have been illegal in the United States for nearly 200 years, and in 1983 the United State Supreme Court’s ruling in Bearden v. Georgia again made it clear that judges cannot send people to jail simply because they do not have the means to pay court fines. Despite this seemingly clear ruling, many...
Brittany Kauffman
Last year, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts dedicated his 2015 year-end report on the State of the Judiciary to extolling the new amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. He noted the amendments serve as an important stride forward, but that we would only achieve a just, speedy, and inexpensive...
Brittany Kauffman
Later this week at the ABA Midyear Meeting, a panel discussion will focus on the current challenges facing our civil justice system, recommendations for achieving civil justice for all, and how to make these recommendations a reality in our state courts. Spoiler alert—bar leaders play an important role. The panel will...
Natalie Anne Knowlton
Brittany Kauffman
The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) released a Request for Proposals to identify potential participants in a pilot project for implementing access to justice portals. The legal access portal concept emerged from the 2013 LSC Technology Summit as one of the key recommendations for achieving 100% access to justice...
Brittany Kauffman
One year ago today, on December 1, 2015, the long awaited amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure went into effect. The “package” of amendments included changes across a number of rules (specifically Rules 1, 4, 16, 26, 30, 31, 33, and 34) and focused on increasing cooperation, achieving proportionality in...

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