Changes to Rule 37 Will Affect Environmental Disputes Too
23 December 2015Law 360
Environmental litigation is complex. It depends heavily on experts for a multitude of issues, ranging from engineering and hydrogeology to toxicology and epidemiology. Environmental law is driven by sophisticated institutional litigants such as the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, and nongovernmental plaintiffs’ organizations that advocate for sweeping social changes through the courts. These and other factors make environmental litigation costly, time consuming and ideally suited for the streamlining envisioned by the recent amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which took effect on Dec. 1, 2015. We discuss below a few of the critical amendments likely to impact environmental litigation, focusing on amendments governing electronically stored information and the scope of discovery.