Preparing for Mandatory Initial Discovery

Extract from Grant Thornton’s article “Preparing for Mandatory Initial Discovery”

In 2017, the Judicial Conference of the United States announced a pilot program for a new discovery protocol known as the Mandatory Initial Discovery Pilot (MIDP). MIDP introduces a new standard for mandatory discovery at the beginning of the case and an accelerated timeline for document production. MIDP aims to cut the cost of discovery in civil litigation to drive just, speedy, and inexpensive case disposition. The Northern District of Illinois has adopted the pilot program for a three-year trial. MIDP applies to civil cases initiated on or after June 1, 2017.

With limited exceptions, the MIDP requires each party to make initial discovery disclosures within 30 days of filing a pleading. Parties must disclose information relevant to claims or defenses asserted by any party, even if they do not intend to use the information or if the information would be unfavorable to the party’s claim. Parties can no longer hope to preclude disclosure of unfavorable information by motion practice and narrow interpretations of the opposing party’s requests. MIDP assumes that early disclosure of information will enable courts to better evaluate the relative merits of each case, which should speed litigation, and reduce legal fees. MIDP aims to avoid the delays caused by discovery-related motions practices used by plaintiffs and defendants alike.

Read the full article here