University of Denver

A Year Later, Utah's Revised Civil Rules Inspire High Hopes

Senior Director

In a promised follow-up to his prior blog post on IAALS’ Third Civil Justice Reform Summit, Professor Jordan Singer of New England Law│Boston discusses the new set of civil rules in Utah, which were implemented a year ago today. As Professor Singer lays out, the new rules center on proportional discovery, flipping the presumption from one where discovery is allowable unless the rules or a judge say otherwise to a scheme were discovery is prohibited unless the rules or a judge says otherwise. Professor Singer urges rulemakers to “keep a close eye on the new system,” which forces the parties to focus on discovery requests that are most relevant. You can find additional information on the Utah rules here. Utah practitioner Fran Wikstrom’s presentation on Utah’s rules at the Summit was also highlighted by LawWeek Colorado in a recent article on state pilot projects around the country. Wikstrom noted that practitioners in Utah have weathered the change and hopes are high. “We hope they cut down on cost of discovery. We hope they’ll result in more trials. We hope more people with small claims will have access to civil justice. We’re waiting to see.”