The recent amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure become effective December 1, 2006. Here's a good article about one of the amendments: "Are Litigators Ready for the New Meet-and-Confer Sessions?" by Carolyn Southerland in the National Law Journal--
[N]ew Rule 26(f) requires that 21 days before a Rule 16(b) scheduling conference, the parties are to meet and confer to discuss any issues relating to preserving discoverable information; to develop a proposed discovery plan; to discuss any issues related to disclosure or discovery of electronically stored information (ESI), including the form or forms in which it should be produced; and to discuss any privilege issues, including the potential for a "clawback" agreement to be included in a court order.
At first blush, this list doesn't seem too daunting. But any attorney who ever spent an afternoon with a client's chief information officer, trying to understand where the data requested by the other side in discovery are stored, knows that even understanding the language of the information technology (IT) world requires a significant investment of time and effort. So what will the courts -- and opposing counsel -- expect at a meet and confer come Dec. 1, when the new rules go into effect?
Even if you don't regularly litigate in federal court, you'll find that the article contains some good ideas for completing those electronic discovery tasks that should now be part of almost every case.