Eric F. Spade


The objective of this note is to examine the CJRA experiments with mandatory disclosure and, based on that examination, to propose an alternative approach to the current trend of micromanaging case management through the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. This note begins by defining mandatory disclosure and providing a brief account of its origin. Next, the Civil Justice Reform Act is described, followed by an examination of the various CJRA mandatory disclosure experiments conducted by district courts nationwide. The main portion of this note endeavors to apply some of the lessons learned in the CJRA context to the flawed approach taken by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. I propose that the micromanagement of federal judges through detailed, uniform case management rules should be abandoned. Instead, district courts should be provided greater discretion in devising case management rules which meet the unique needs of each district court. Finally, I propose that some district courts may find that a resource-differentiated approach to mandatory disclosure is an effective means of case management.