University of Denver

Initial Discovery Protocols

for First-Party Insurance Property Damage Cases Arising from Disasters
Senior Director

These Initial Discovery Protocols for First-Party Insurance Property Damage Cases Arising from Disasters (Disaster Protocols) provide a new pretrial procedure for cases involving first-party insurance property damage claims arising from man-made or natural disasters. They are designed to be implemented by trial judges, lawyers, and litigants in state and federal courts. Their intent is to “make it easier and faster for the parties and their counsel to: (1) exchange important information and documents early in the case; (2) frame the issues to be resolved; (3) value the claims for possible early resolution; and (4) plan for more efficient and targeted subsequent formal discovery, if needed.”

Natural disasters continue to increase in both number and severity, and their financial costs are increasing exponentially as well. While the parties and the court each come with a different perspective, everyone involved has the shared goal of an accessible, fair, and efficient process. The Disaster Protocols seek to achieve these goals for all.

These are the third Initial Discovery Protocols that IAALS has facilitated. The first set of protocols, the Initial Discovery Protocols for Employment Cases Alleging Adverse Action (Employment Protocols), was published as a pilot project by the FJC in November 2011. Following the successes of the Employment Protocols, IAALS facilitated a second set of Initial Discovery Protocols, in this instance for Fair Labor Standards Act Cases Not Pleaded as Collective Actions (FLSA Protocols).