New Discovery Rules in Chicago's Federal Court

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The District Court for the Northern District of Illinois just changed the discovery rules for how and when parties can get information and documents from their opponents in federal lawsuits. If you are involved in a federal lawsuit, it is important to understand how these changes to the discovery rules will affect your case.

Starting June 1, 2017, parties must exchange discovery much earlier than before. Among other things, they must provide information and documents within 30 days of an answer. Also, a defendant must file an answer, counterclaims, and the like even if the defendant files a motion to dismiss the lawsuit. This is very different from current practice, where answers may not be filed and discovery may not begin for several months after a lawsuit is filed.

The goal of the changes is to make lawsuits quicker and less expensive. The changes may or may not accomplish that goal, and they may alter litigation strategies in other ways. For example, the new rules could help a plaintiff uncover much-needed information early in the case and avoid dismissal. On the other hand, discovery can be very expensive. The new rules might encourage unscrupulous litigants to file improper cases to try to force a settlement from a defendant who wants to avoid running up large legal bills doing unnecessary discovery.

Schedule a Consultation with FactorLaw

More information about the changes can be found at the website for the Northern District of Illinois: To consult with a FactorLaw attorney about your case and how the changes to the discovery rules may affect you, please call 312-878-6976.