Public Comment Period Opens On Federal Rules Proposals—NELA Provides Template For Advocates

By Rebecca Hamburg posted 08-20-2013 06:46 PM


Following the unanimous Advisory Committee recommendation that the Duke Subcommittee's proposed discovery rule amendments package be approved for publication, the Standing Committee voted to adopt the Advisory Committee's recommendation at its meeting in early June. The proposed amendments were published for public comment on August 15, 2013. As expected, the comment period will remain open for six months (i.e., until February 15, 2014). Public hearings will be held during this public comment period. Three hearings will be held around the country, including one Washington, DC on November 7, 2013; a second in Phoenix, AZ on January 9, 2014; and a third in Dallas, TX on February 7, 2014. Ideally, members should aim to submit their comments by October 1, 2013 in advance of the first hearing. All comments submitted to the Advisory Committee earlier this year will be docketed on the website that is being used for submissions during the public comment period. (After August 23, you may check the website to ensure that your comments appear on the site.)

The Judicial Conference needs to hear from those who oppose these proposed amendments to the Rules throughout the comment period and at each of the hearings. The proposed Rules changes will have an impact on your practice and we need you to tell the Judicial Conference how. NELA is preparing a resource library for those interested in submitting comments. In the meantime, you may download NELA's template for public comments from The NELA Exchange. We encourage you to include personal stories from your own cases in your comments. You may submit comments on one or several of the proposed changes. There is no need to include all the topics and talking points; they are designed to allow you to pick and choose from a range of topics so that your comments will be uniquely yours.

If you have any questions about the template, the proposed amendments, the process for submitting comments, or participating in the public hearings, please contact Rebecca Hamburg Cappy (; (415) 296-7629) or Julie M. Strandlie (; (202) 898-2880).