The NZ E-Discovery Blog  Facilitating proportionate and efficient e-discovery

Removing the uncertainty – new discovery rules

October 14th, 2011

I like many, were pleased to see the new discovery rules finally made public last week with the announcement that they will come into effect on 1 February 2012. There had been considerable uncertainty around when the new discovery rules would commence and also when the new rules would be made available.

Personally it has been difficult as I have had to present a number of talks about the new rules, but up until now I have had to talk about the ‘proposed’ rules, without being able to show what the new rules are. Unfortunately I have had to postpone a number of training sessions for firms that have expressed an interest in finding out more about the discovery rules. Reluctantly, I have had to say that they will get more out of my sessions once they know what the new rules are. I know that this has been difficult for firms as some are aware that they may have to make considerable changes to the way they prepare and manage discovery exercises. Fortunately this can now all change.

Up until now, the new rules were on the horizon for many, but now it appears they are more at forefront of their minds. If the last few days are a sign of things to come then there is a real interest in what the new requirements are and what they will mean in practice. Since the rules were released, I have already had a steady flow of enquiries from firms looking to arrange training sessions to explain what the new rules will mean for them.

It is great to see firms preparing for the new rules, but also refreshing to see many who are seeking to go beyond the rules and actually focus on how they can ensure that their discovery practices can be adapted to do a more effective and efficient job for their clients. As I constantly say to clients – the more they can be informed about their clients documents at an earlier stage, the more prepared they will be to be on the front foot for the discussions with the other parties.  It is in your client’s interests to proactively approach the new discovery requirements, as it establishes an opportunity for you to ensure you can devise a cost effective and proportionate approach to discovery.

As I mentioned in my last post, these new discovery rules will bring substantial changes to the way that discovery is conducted, for some the changes will be require significant changes to their current practices. My recent blog posts have provided further details about the important changes of the rules.

As always, I am here to help those that require assistance.



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