University of Denver

Task Force on Discovery and Civil Justice

Beginning in 2007, IAALS and the American College of Trial Lawyers Task Force on Discovery and Civil Justice partnered to study cost and delay in America’s civil justice system and propose solutions. The research and Principles from this project have inspired reform across our state and federal systems.

Senior Director
Legal Assistant

One of the major themes that emerged from IAALS' research in partnership with the ACTL was that our civil justice system is indeed plagued with cost and delay, making the system inaccessible for many and inefficient for all. In 2009, IAALS and the Task Force jointly published a Final Report, which included proposed Principles for responding to these problems and improving our civil justice system. 

IAALS and the Task Force intended that the Principles from the Final Report be tested and evaluated in pilot projects in courts around the country, and jointly developed and published a model set of Pilot Project Rules for this purpose. This effort inspired multiple pilot projects around the country, including evaluations of these efforts.

At the same time, the Judicial Conference Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure and the Advisory Committee on Civil Rules, the rulemaking committees for the federal courts, recognized and focused on these issues. In May of 2010, the Advisory Committee convened a Conference on Civil Litigation at Duke University to study the current state of the civil justice system and to work toward solutions. Out of this conference grew a package of federal rule amendments, implemented on December 1, 2015, intended to remedy some of these problems.

In 2015, IAALS and the Task Force finished their re-evaluation of the proposed Principles in light of the pilot project and rule reform experiences around the country since 2009, and issued a new report with updated Principles to guide future innovation. The 24 new Principles call for a sharp realignment of the discovery process and greater court resources to manage cases.

IAALS formerly housed this work under its Rule One Initiative until 2018.

Events 
IAALS hosted the 2009 Civil Rules Summit. Thirty-two renowned civil justice system experts including U.S. District Court Judge Lee Rosenthal gathered to discuss America's civil justice system...
Publications 
Since 2007, IAALS and the American College of Trial Lawyers Task Force on Discovery and Civil Justice have partnered to study cost and delay in America’s civil justice system, and propose solutions...
This publication provides an overview of the collaboration between IAALS and the ACTL Task Force on Discovery and Civil Justice. It also offers clarification and context for research and...
Published in collaboration with the American College of Trial Lawyers Task Force on Discovery, this report serves as a guide for states interested in testing recommendations designed to reduce cost...
This report includes a set of 29 proposed Principles that focus on four core areas: pleadings, discovery, experts and judicial management. It is the culmination of an 18-month collaboration between...

American College of Trial Lawyers Task Force on Discovery and Civil Justice (2007-2015)

IAALS began its collaboration with the Task Force in 2007, when it was appointed by the ACTL to work jointly with IAALS to explore the problems associated with discovery. This collaboration has led to a “nationwide discussion” about the state of our civil justice system and active consideration of proposed changes in that system to make it more accessible, affordable, efficient, and just. IAALS and the Task Force have collaborated on multiple publications, most notably the Final Report published in 2009 and its follow-up in 2015.

Former Counsel, McGuireWoods LLP
Chief Justice (Ret.), New Hampshire Supreme Court
Partner, Jenner & Block
Neeson Arbitration Chambers
Judge, Second Judicial District Court of Colorado
Shareholder, Polsinelli
Partner, Coy, Gilbert, Shepherd & Wilson
Shareholder, Hangley, Aronchick, Segal, Pudlin & Schiller
Senior Of Counsel, Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP
Partner, Stoel Rives LLP
Partner, Roney & Labinger, LLP
Partner, Meadows, Collier, Reed, Cousins, Crouch & Ungerman, LLP
Retired Partner, Schnader
Member, Sherman & Howard
Of Counsel, Pope, McGlamry, Kilpatrick, Morrison & Norwood, PC
Partner and Chairman, Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell LLP
Partner Emeritus, Taft
Partner, Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP
Justice, Delaware Supreme Court
Partner, Christian & Barton LLP
Partner, Snell & Wilmer
Partner, Troutman Sanders LLP
Former General Counsel, Bechtel Group, Inc.
Judge, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Western Division