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New Civil Discovery Rules in Michigan Require Early Planning

By James P. Martin, Cendrowski Corporate Advisors LLC

On 19 June 2019, the Michigan Supreme Court amended Michigan civil discovery rules effective 01 January 2020. The rules are intended to modernise and make the litigation process more effcient, and they move substantial procedures to the front of the case.

In many cases, initial disclosures are now required. A party filing a complaint must submit initial disclosures within 14 days after any opposing party files a response to the pleading. The initial disclosures include: the factual basis and legal theories of the claim, identification of any documents, witnesses, and Electronically Stored Information (ESI) that might support the claim and theory, contact information of each person that might have discoverable information, and a computation of each category of damages claimed.

Development of the initial disclosures may involve the work of an expert witness, especially relating to the calculation of damages. The new rules protect communication between the attorney and expert, except those communications relating to compensation of the expert, and any facts and assumptions provided by the attorney and relied upon by the expert.

Upon a written request or court order, the parties must meet among themselves to develop a written discovery plan. Attorneys for all parties are charged with working in good faith to develop a workable, agreed-upon plan. Discovery procedures must now be tailored to the proportional needs of the case, including “whether the burden or expense of the proposed discovery outweighs its likely benefit”.

Additionally, ESI conference may be held to determine the identification, location, scope, and available metadata of ESI, and preservation and retrieval methods, and to develop an ESI discovery plan.

The full 45-page order is available www.courts.michigan.gov

James P. Martin

James P. Martin

GGI member firm
Cendrowski Corporate Advisors LLC
Advisory, Corporate Finance, Fiduciary and Estate Planning, Tax
Bloomfield Hills, MI, USA
T: +1 248 540 5760
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Located in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and Chicago, Illinois, Cendrowski Corporate Advisors provide specialised professional services to clients internationally. With expertise in tax planning and family office advisory services, they also specialise in business valuation, risk management, dispute advisory including economic damages analyses, fraud investigations, and forensic accounting services.

James P. Martin specialises in providing comprehensive risk assessments, focusing on the evaluation of operating effectiveness of business processes, internal control structures, and the development of recommendations for improvement. Jim has examined numerous business arrangements to determine the accuracy of recorded transactions and financial statement presentations, including fraud investigation and forensic accounting services.

Published: Litigation & Dispute Resolution Newsletter, No. 12, Spring 2020 l Photo: haveseen - stock.adobe.com

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