Four Rules up for Comment

April 8, 2014 § 7 Comments

The MSSC has four rules posted for public comment at this link. In a nutshell, they are, with their respective deadlines for comment:

  • Appellate Mediation Pilot Program, deadline May 2, 2014. Would create a voluntary procedure to hold appeals in abeyance so that they can be mediated. This proposal arose out of the practice in other states, where the result has been a reduction in pending appeals and the time it takes to resolve them.
  • Amendment to MRCP 16, deadline May 26, 2014. Would amend MRCP 16 to require that, once a trial date is set, deadlines for summary judgment motions, expert motions, propounding and completion of discovery, and other procedural matters would automatically be in place. The provision that the parties or the judge may call for a pretrial conference remains unchanged.
  • Amendment to MRE 105, deadline April 28, 2014. Would amend the rule to put the responsibility on the court to ensure that there is a jury instruction as to the proper scope of evidence whenever the court admits evidence for a limited purpose. The requirement may be waived by the party affected.
  • Amendment to MRCP 3(c), deadline May 2, 2014. Would change the procedure for filing in forma pauperis to conform to statutes.        

All of our rules of court directly affect your everyday practice of law. This is your opportunity to have a voice in those rules. You do not have to be a senior partner in a high profile law firm for your opinion to count.


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§ 7 Responses to Four Rules up for Comment

  • reidkrell says:

    How do you comment to the Committee? I notice that motions challenging expert testimony are required no less than 90 days prior to trial, but there’s a lot of case law under Rule 26 that provides that experts need not be designated until 60 days prior to trial. At the very least, the commentary needs to note the relevant precedent and declare it abrogated by the new rule. Probably will require some additional tweaking of the discovery rules to accommodate that requirement. Might be easier to just change the deadline for motions challenging expert testimony.

    • Larry says:

      The comment should be addressed to the MSSC at their address. The proposals have gone out of the committee to the court, and further action is up to the court.

    • thusbloggedanderson says:

      Reid, I think that 60-day mark is in the URCCC and UCCR? Which would be trumped by MRCP?

  • thusbloggedanderson says:

    Rule 16 is a step in the right direction; I might have preferred requiring a scheduling order without a trial date, requiring discovery to be completed before a trial date could be set. This will clog the calendars with settings.

    • Larry says:

      In my court you may not get a trial date until you confirm with me that all discovery has been completed. In contested divorces I require a pre-trial order with a complete, agreed asset list before I will allow the case to be set for trial. I always enter a scheduling order with the temporary order, which expires in 180 days. I don’t think this revision of R16 will affect any of that. I see it as a tool lawyers can use to push cases ahead.

      • thusbloggedanderson says:

        It won’t affect “any of that” because it exempts R81 cases, but doesn’t the order expressly require attorneys in every *other* case to obtain a trial date & work backwards from it?

      • Larry says:

        Divorce is a R4 matter; temporary relief is a R81 matter. There are many matters in chan that are R4 matters.

        The judge has ultimate authority to assign the trial date, so I think the judge can control the process.

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