New Year, New Rules: What You Need To Know About ECA (Expedited Civil Action Rule) And The New General Rules For all Civil Cases in 2015 (Live Webinar)
The Iowa Supreme
Court has approved amendments to the Rules of Civil Procedure in two important
areas. The court has established rules for an expedited trial track for cases
involving less than $75,000.00. The court also has made significant changes in
the general discovery rules for all civil cases. The effective date of
these amendments is January 1, 2015. All attorneys with a pending civil
case, or who potentially may handle, consult, or advise regarding a civil case,
must read these rules and become familiar with them.
A few of the
changes in the rules that apply to all civil cases include a requirement that
both sides participate in a mandatory conference with each other soon after the
lawsuit is filed. Other changes, for example, include that promptly after that
conference the parties are to provide initial disclosures and a plan for
litigation. The initial disclosures include identification of persons
with information about the case and production of relevant documents.
Expert witness rules now require a written report of the expert to accompany
the expert disclosure. The rules apply to all civil cases already
pending as well as to new cases filed after January 1, 2015. Those cases
already pending will have certain deadlines excepted from the new rules, as
indicated in the new rules.
civil action rule allows the plaintiff to use the expedited civil action
process if the plaintiff so chooses. If this new procedure is chosen, the
case must be tried in one year or less. Obviously, that means discovery
must move quickly. The award is limited to $75,000. The rule
limits written discovery and other pretrial procedures, including allowing for
a health care provider’s written statement in lieu of testimony. This rule
provides for a trial to be heard by a jury of six persons, with attorneys on
each side being limited to six hours for jury selection, openings, evidence by
direct and cross-examination, and closing. Jury instructions must be
submitted jointly as one set, with alternatives if there is disagreement. These
are a few of the new provisions in the expedited civil action rule.
For an overview
of these dramatically new changes in the civil procedure rules, effective
January 1, 2015, register for this webinar on the new civil discovery rules and
the new expedited civil action rule.
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