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In late 2016, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure update. Although largely similar, to the amendments of 2015, these updates have eliminated the three-day "mail-rule" that once applied to electronically served discovery during litigation. 

Let us break down the changes made the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, so you can remain compliant.

Rule 4 (m): Time Limit for Service

This rule change may not effect a lawyer's every day practice, however, those serving foreign corporations should be aware of the implications addressed by this rule. Rule 4 (m) mandates dimissal of complaints which are not served within 90 days after they are filed. Realizing that this 90-day period is impractical where service must be effected overseas, the rule does not apply to serivce on an individual in a foreign country under Rule 4(f) or on a foreign state under Rule 4(j)(i). 

The amendments to Rule 4(m) resolve this ambiguity, clarifying that the 90-day rule does not apply where service on a corporation, partnership or association takes place in a foreign territory pursuant to Rule 4(h)(2). This clarification will be appreciated by litigators potentially serving foreign corporations in the future.

Rule 6 (d): Computing and Extending Time; Time for Motion Papers

Potentially the most important change made to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure affects the three-day mail rule; no longer extending the time by which a party must act after being served electronically—including through the court’s CM/ECF system. This rule has been changed as technology has advanced and electronic service is now nearly instantaneous. It is important to note that parties no longer have an extra 3 days to respond to any pleadings or other documents served electronically g – for example, a defendant will only have 14 days (instead of 17 days) to respond to an amended complaint served through the CM/ECF system.  Indeed, the Committee Notes acknowledge that this change “may result in a practical reduction in the time available to respond” when service occurs after business hours or before a weekend or holiday and as a result, “[e]xtensions of time may be warranted to prevent prejudice.”   

Rule 82. Jurisdiction and Venue Unaffected

This new statute exempts maritime law actions from the typical venue rules outlined in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The amendments to Rule 82 recognize the revisions resulting from the enactment of the Federal Courts Jurisdiction and Venue Clarification Act of 2011 (“the Act”). Specifically, the Act abolished the venue distinctions between “local” and “transitory” actions by repealing 28 U.S.C. § 1392.  The Act also enacted 28 U.S.C. § 1390, which implemented general venue provisions, clarified that admiralty actions are excluded from the general venue provisions, and explained that the venue statutes do not dictate how venue is determined for cases removed to federal court.  Rule 82 has been amended to reflect the enactment of 28 U.S.C. § 1390 and the repeal of 28 U.S.C. § 1392.

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure are very much subject to change and we understand that this may be hard to keep up with. Let us help you to better understand the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure so you can remain compliant. Call a Sioux City attorney, Sioux Falls lawyer, or Omaha attorney today!

For more articles regarding protecting your business, check out our blog! http://blog.goosmannlaw.com/ceo-on-your-side

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