September 21, 2022
The lawyers at DSBC keep abreast of changes in Federal law to protect our clients’ interest in all aspects of litigation. Knowledge and compliance with the Rules leads to best practices and optimal client outcome.
The Local Rules for the United States District Court Southern District of Florida are up for amendment effective December 1, 2022. Proposed amendments include Local Rule 16.2 titled “Court Annexed Mediation” and Local Rule 26.1 titled “Discovery and Discovery Material (Civil).”
In sum and substance, Rule 16.2 affords the parties flexibility to decide whether mediation will be conducted in person or by video-conference. The Rule provides that if the parties cannot agree to the format of the mediation session, then mediation shall be by video-conference. The focus of the rule has shifted from “attendance” to “participation” while maintaining the purpose that those who “participate” in the mediation have full authority to negotiate a settlement and case resolution. The focus of the rule is consistent with the Court’s response to the COVID 19 pandemic and restrictions.
The substantive change to Local Rule 26.1 includes the following: (1) A party responding to a Request for Production must serve a Notice of Completion of Production when the last of the documents are produced. Absent an Order issued by the assigned Judge, discovery motions related to a response or objection to a discovery request or a privilege log shall be submitted within twenty-eight (28) days of service of the written response or objection. The same time frame applies to discovery responses related to deposition testimony and the sufficiency of a production of documents. Absent a showing of good cause, the Court, in its discretion, may deny the requested relief based on timeliness. Previously, the time frame for raising discovery disputes was thirty (30) days.
Our attorneys are available to confer and answer questions regarding litigating in Federal Court, and the parameters of the Federal and Local Rules are always a part of our reference guide.