Weisshaar Reviews Rule 34 Rulings Warning Counsel About Noncompliance

Like the proverbial middle child, Rule 34—which governs production during discovery—and its 2015 amendments have been overlooked by some practitioners. But federal courts are losing patience with continued non-compliance, writes Shook Of Counsel Jesse Weisshaar in Don’t Overlook the FRCP’s “Middle Child”: Practical Suggestions for Complying With Today’s Rule 34, an article for Bloomberg BNA’s eDiscovery Resource Center. 

Weisshaar reviews rulings in three 2017 cases in which federal courts (i) ordered defendants to produce electronically stored information a second time because they failed to produce it in the format requested by the plaintiff or object to the plaintiff’s request, as now required by Rule 34; (ii) issued a “wake up call” to practitioners that any response failing to comply with the rule’s requirement to state objections with specificity would be deemed a waiver of all objections except as to privilege; and (iii) issued a show-cause order asking why counsel should not be sanctioned because their discovery responses included assertions of general, “boilerplate” objections in violation of the rule. Weisshaar also provides suggestions for changes in discovery practices to help attorneys ensure they comply with the new requirements of Rule 34.