This month, the United States District Court of the Northern District of Illinois announced its participation in a discovery pilot project. The three-year study will examine the discovery practices endorsed by the Judicial Conference of the United States. All Eastern Division magistrate judges and 17 district judges in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Illinois will take part in the program.
The Mandatory Initial Discovery Pilot Project (MIDP) was created to get a better understanding of how initial discovery impacts the cost and timing of litigation procedures in civil cases.
The project requires mandatory initial discovery in all civil cases filed on or after June 1, 2017 other than cases exempted by Rule 26(a)(1)(B)1; actions under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act (“PSLRA”); patent cases governed by a local rule; and cases transferred for consolidated administration in the District by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation.
The Northern District Court of Illinois adopted a standing order which lays out all of the requirements for those impacted by the discovery pilot project.
For example, when making initial discovery responses, parties are required to disclose both favorable and unfavorable information relevant to their claims or defenses regardless of whether they intend to use the information in their cases.
Likewise, all parties must file their counterclaims, answers, and replies within the time set for in rule 12(a)(1)-(3), even if they have filed a preliminary motion pursuant to Rule 12(b).
All those impacted by the discovery pilot project must serve their discovery documents and responses by the deadlines laid out in the standing order unless modified by the Court. In turn, plaintiffs and defendants may have to produce discovery more frequently and on a shorter notice.
For more information and training materials regarding the project, please visit the Court’s website.