Rule 26: Major Changes for Attorneys and Experts

by Robert Ambrogi
BullsEye: February 2010
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A major revision to the federal rules governing expert witness reports is on track to take effect in December. Lawyers and experts alike agree that the changes are long overdue.

No longer would Rule 26 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure allow full discovery of draft expert reports and require broad disclosure of any communications between an expert and trial counsel, as has been the case ever since the rule's revision in 1993.

Instead, under proposed amendments to Rule 26, those communications would come under the protection of the work-product doctrine. The amendments would prohibit discovery of draft expert reports and limit discovery of attorney-expert communications. Still allowed would be full discovery of the expert's opinions and of the facts or data used to support them.

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This article was originally published in BullsEye, a newsletter distributed by IMS ExpertServices. IMS ExpertServices is a full service expert witness and litigation consultant search firm, focused exclusively on providing custom expert witness searches to attorneys. We are proud to be the choice of more than 95 of the AmLaw Top 100.