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Gold Divider

AMENDMENTS TO F.R.CP. RULE 45: FEDERAL SUBPOENAS

By Litigation Tips

Here at Lewis & Llewellyn, we frequently handle subpoena issuance and compliance in federal court, particularly for our Fortune 500 clients in the technology and financial sectors.  Effective December 1, 2013, Congress has made significant changes to federal subpoena practice.
Among other things:

  • All subpoenas will now issue from the court where the case is pending, rather than the court where compliance is required.  Rule 45(a)(2).
  • New Rule 45(a)(4) clarifies that before a “documents only” subpoena is served on the witness, notice and a copy of the subpoena must be served on all parties.
  • The territorial limitations on subpoenas issued to non-party witnesses have been made more explicit.
  • New territorial limitations have been placed on subpoenas issued to parties and party officers.
  • Motions to quash will now presumptively be heard in the court for the district where compliance is required.

SAN FRANCISCO SUPERIOR COURT PROPOSES MANDATORY E-FILING

By Litigation Tips

As most litigators know, e-filing has been commonplace in the Federal Courts for years.  However, the California Superior Courts have been slower to adopt this practice.  Recently, the San Francisco Superior Court has published Proposed Local Rules that, if adopted, may require attorneys to electronically file and serve nearly all civil pleadings effective January 1, 2014.

The proposed rule changes increase significantly the types of cases designated for mandatory e-filing including lawsuits involving breach of contract, business torts, personal injury and unfair competition.  Note, however, that self-represented parties and non-parties are exempt from the proposed e-filing requirements, and would still have to be served conventionally.

CHANGES TO MANDATORY CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCES

By Litigation Tips

The budget challenge faced by the California court system has been publicized for years.  For over 10 years, individualized case management conferences have been considered the best way for the court to oversee civil litigation.  However, as a result of the courts’ very limited resources, effective February 26, 2013, the Judicial Council has amended California Rules of Court, Rules 3.712 and 3.720, to allow individual courts to exempt certain categories of general civil cases from the current mandatory case management rules.  The new rules apply to all cases filed before January 1, 2016.  Pursuant to the recent rule change, the Los Angeles County Superior Court recently exempted personal injury actions and limited civil cases from the mandatory case management conferences.  Instead, the court will set trial dates and make other case management orders, by issuing individual orders in individual cases.  It remains to be seen how other Superior Courts will respond to the recent rule change.  Stay tuned for further updates.

MARC LEWIS INVITED TO JOIN THE BASF EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

By Announcements

Last month, the Bar Association of San Francisco named Marc Lewis to its Executive Committee for the Litigation Section.  The section seeks to educate San Francisco litigators regarding current litigation developments and serves as a liaison between members of the local bar and the local state and federal bench.  The section also comments on proposed changes in statutes and in regulations affecting litigators.

WORKING WITH IN-HOUSE COUNSEL 101

By Speaking Engagements

On October 10, 2012, Marc will be one of the featured speakers at the Bar Association of San Francisco’s seminar, “Working with In-House Counsel 101.”  The other speakers include senior litigators from Yelp and Bank of the West.  The panel will address topics such as the dos and don’ts of working with in-house counsel, winning cases without losing sight of costs, and best practices from the in-house perspective.

NEW CALIFORNIA LAW LIMITS DEPOSITIONS TO SEVEN HOURS

By Litigation Tips

Effective January 1, 2013, California will align more closely with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure regarding the duration of depositions. On September 17, 2012, the Governor signed into law section 2025.290 of the California Code of Civil Procedure, which will limit the duration of depositions to seven hours.

While the new law limits the duration of a deposition to seven hours—the same length as FRCP Rule 30(d)(1)—the law specifically lacks the FRCP’s limitation that the seven hours of deposition be completed in one day.  For litigators, this means that the duration of depositions may have been reigned in significantly, but there is still room to maneuver and strategically spread the deposition across multiple days, if necessary, as long as the total deposition does not exceed seven hours.

The new law does provide for exceptions.  For example, the parties may stipulate to waive the seven hour limitation.  In addition, the limitation does not apply to certain employee-employer lawsuits.  Finally, litigators should note that this new law does not affect existing rights to move for protective orders regarding the duration of a deposition.

When the New Year comes round and you are scheduling that first deposition of 2013, remember to consider the new seven-hour limitation and plan your depositions or stipulate to a waiver accordingly.