District of Kansas: Implementing Recommendations of Rule 1 Task Force

Beginning in March 2012, the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas has been involved in an effort to ensure that civil litigation is handled in a “just, speedy, and inexpensive” manner, in accordance with Rule 1 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Spearheaded by the court’s Bench-Bar Committee, the Rule 1 Task Force broke down into six working groups with corresponding recommendations: 1) overall civil case management; 2) discovery involving electronically stored information (ESI); 3) traditional non-ESI discovery; 4) dispositive-motion practice; 5) trial scheduling and procedures; and 6) professionalism and sanctions.

Nearly all of the Rule 1 Task Force’s recommendations were approved by the Bench-Bar Committee, and then by the court. As a result of the Task Force’s recommendations, the court revised its four principal civil case management forms: 1) the Initial Order Regarding Planning and Scheduling; 2) the Rule 26(f) Report of Parties’ Planning Conference; 3) the Scheduling Order; and 4) the Pretrial Order. The court also revised its Guidelines for Cases Involving Electronically Stored Information and its Guidelines for Agreed Protective Orders, along with a corresponding pre-approved form order, and developed new guidelines for summary judgment. The court has also adopted corresponding amendments to its local rules.

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