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Are 'Drive By' Rule 26(f) Meetings the Norm?

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A Federal Judicial Center survey sent to almost 10,000 attorneys in civil cases asked if attorneys followed the "Drive By" Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26 (f), governing discovery, and participated in a Rule 16(b) scheduling conference with a judge or magistrate judge. The survey found that 73 percent of respondents reporting a Rule 26(f) meeting met for 30 minutes or less. 

As the survey also reported, “Many cases terminated in a relatively short time, and will not endure long enough for a meeting of the parties. . . Other cases terminate by default judgment.”

And are Rule 26 meetings helpful? The survey found that half of the attorneys said the meetings helped them better understand the opposing side’s claims and/or defenses, while 71 percent used the meetings to make arrangements for initial disclosures.

Read the complete survey (pdf).

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