Wyoming Adoption of 2015 Federal Rule Amendments

Over the last decade, the Wyoming Permanent Rules Advisory Committee, Civil Division, has worked on a project called the “Style Project,” which was designed to update the rules of civil procedure in Wyoming.

The Style Project was an attempt to “conform the Wyoming Rules of Civil Procedure with the several generations of changes to the Federal Rules, because many of those changes simplified the language and also reflect a philosophy of effectuation WRCP 1, ‘to secure the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of every action’ by tailoring discovery to the needs of the particular case.”

The proposed rule changes from the Style Project were shared for public comment in 2016 and presented at the Wyoming State Bar Annual Meeting in September 2016. The Wyoming Supreme Court adopted the recommended rule changes effective March 1, 2017.

The Wyoming rule amendments mirror many of the 2015 amendments to the federal rules, including changes to Rule 1 and Rule 26(b)(1), which incorporates proportionality into the scope of discovery. Similarly, Rule 34(b)(2)(b) and (c) reflect the federal changes requiring specificity of responses and objections to discovery requests. Wyoming’s Rule 37(e) is also substantially the same as the newly revised Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(e). Additional changes include revisions to Rule 56(g), which now allows for summary judgment on part of a claim (overruling previous case law on this issue). Changes to Rules 3 and 4(w) adopt the federal model for determining the commencement of an action. Most timeframes have been changed from 10 days to 14 to avoid the need to subtract weekends and holidays.

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