By J. Gregory Hardman, Shareholder–A well-known adage of the law is “justice delayed is justice denied.” This adage is more relevant today than ever before. In recent decades the time and expense required to resolve a civil lawsuit have skyrocketed.
Although there are multiple reasons for this skyrocketing of expenses and time (e.g., clogged court dockets, diminished resources in the judicial system, and increased operating costs for attorneys and law firms), the most significant contributor is discovery. Discovery is the phase of litigation that typically follows the filing of a lawsuit and is the process by which litigants obtain information about each other’s case through a variety of formal and informal means (e.g., depositions, exchanging of documents).
In recognition of the challenges posed to litigants by these costs of discovery, the Utah Supreme Court recently tasked its Advisory Committee on the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure to propose comprehensive revisions to the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure that govern the discovery process in all civil lawsuits. In June 2010, the Advisory Committee published its proposed revised rules and is now seeking feedback from the members of the Utah State Bar and judges alike. The proposed revised rules seek to implement mandatory processes designed to reduce the time and expense of litigation. The hyperlink below contains a written summary of the proposed changes to the rules governing disclosure and discovery, followed by the proposed rules themselves with highlighted changes.
Link: PROPOSED RULES GOVERNING CIVIL DISCOVERY (need .pdf viewer to open)