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Western District of Pennsylvania - Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(f) Form

Last night's tip, referred to a form for 26(f) conferences that Chief Judge Joy Conti of the Western District of Pennsylvania has parties use. Here's a closer look at the Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(f) Report of the Parties,

Including some of the more basic information you might expect (the date of the Rule 16 scheduling conference; changes proposed to FRCP 26(a) disclosures), the form also requires that the parties note any dispositive motions they plan to file, and detail the Alternative Dispute Resolution process they have selected.

The form prompts the parties to indicate whether or not they have agreed to an ESI discovery plan, and provides a checklist for the parties to follow in make sure they discuss key issues related to preservation; the locations and types of data systems; proportionality and costs; search methods; phasing; production; privilege; and expedited or limited discovery.

Whether or not the parties have agrees to the plan, the form notifies them that the court may require to submit a draft stipulated order on the discovery of ESI.

The form also indicates that the parties may have a separate protocol just for the preservation of relevant ESI. As noted last night, the form directs the parties' attention to the need for a clawback agreement under FRE 502.

The parties are also directed to hold a Post-Discovery Status Conference in which they are strongly encouraged to reach a settlement. The form states that, "a representative with settlement authority of each party shall be required to attend; representatives with settlement authority of any insurance company providing any coverage shall be available throughout the Conference by telephone".

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