SB 224 Assume: The Missouri Discovery Guidelines observe federal steps – Litigation, Mediation, and Arbitration

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SB 224 Adopted: Missouri Discovery Rules Follow Federal Steps

May 17, 2021

Husch Blackwell LLP

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In 2019, the Missouri legislature passed Senate Act 224 (SB 224), which effectively revised the Missouri Discovery Rules to align them with the federal code of civil procedure. (See our 2019 post for an analysis of the changes made to SB 224 to the Missouri Code of Civil Procedure.) However, the applicability of the SB 224 revisions remained unclear for some time as the Missouri Supreme Court was reluctant to incorporate them into the Missouri Code of Civil Procedure .

That changed earlier this month when the Missouri Supreme Court officially changed the rules to reflect the changes set out in SB 224. Of the more notable changes to the rules is Rule 56.01 (b) (1), which now requires that all discoveries be proportional to the needs of the case, just as in federal court. In addition, Rule 56.01 (b) (9) now includes recovery provisions for privileged material and specifically states that the accidental or non-accidental production of such material does not constitute a waiver of privileges. And rule 56.01 (b) (3) deals with information stored electronically for the first time.

The new rules also severely limit the ability of litigants to process discovery requests. While the Missouri Rules previously did not put a cap on the number of inquiries a party could submit to its opponent, Rule 57.01 (a) now specifically restricts parties to no more than 25 interrogation procedures, including subsections, and Rule 58.01 (a) Each side (plaintiff, defendant, third party defendant) is not allowed to make more than 10 deposits. Similarly, rule 58.01 (b) (4) limits the duration of deposits to no more than seven hours. There is one caveat to the seven-hour time limit, however: the Missouri courts may allow additional time for the duration of the Rule 56.01 depositions if it is necessary to fairly investigate the MP, or if the MP, another person, or another This hinders or delays the examination. Rule 57.03 (b) (5) (A).

The new rules will officially come into force on September 2, 2021 and apply to all cases submitted afterwards. In addition, pending cases may be subject to the new rules under Missouri Rule 41.06, which have retroactive application provided that such application is feasible and does not cause injustice.

Originally published March 26, 2021.

The content of this article is intended to provide general guidance on the subject. A professional should be obtained about your particular circumstances.

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