Monday, August 3, 2015

Middle District of Florida Releases New Discovery Handbook

The Handbook on Civil Discovery Practice has been revised (dated June 5, 2015).  You may download a copy here.  (You may receive a printed copy at the Intake counter in each divisional Clerk's office.)  It's a good idea to take a read through every now and then, and nice to see the Court has updated it.  (I believe the last revision was 15 years ago.)   From the Court's website announcing this revised version:
The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Local Rules of the Middle District of Florida, and existing case law cover only some aspects of civil discovery practice. Many of the gaps have been filled by the actual practice of trial attorneys and, over the years, a custom and usage has developed in this district in frequently recurring discovery situations. Originally developed by a group of trial attorneys, this handbook on civil discovery practice in the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida, updated in 2001, and again in 2015, attempts to supplement the rules and decisions by capturing this custom and practice. This handbook is neither substantive law nor inflexible rule; it is an expression of generally acceptable discovery practice in the Middle District. It is revised only periodically and should not be relied on as an up-to-date reference regarding the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Local Rules for the Middle District of Florida, or existing case law. Judges and attorneys practicing in the Middle District should regard the handbook as highly persuasive in addressing discovery issues. Parties who represent themselves (“pro se”) will find the handbook useful as they are also subject to the rules and court orders and may be sanctioned for noncompliance. Judges may impose specific discovery requirements in civil cases, by standing order or casespecific order. This handbook does not displace those requirements, but provides a general overview of discovery practice in the Middle District of Florida.