On July 1, the Ohio Supreme Court’s proposed amendments to the Ohio Rules of Practice and Procedure took effect. Among those reforms includes an update to Ohio’s discovery rules supported by the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.
Under the new discovery rule – Rule 26(b) – discovery requests are now required to be proportional to the needs of the case. This means a party during a lawsuit’s pre-trial process must consider estimated costs and other burdens faced by another party to produce requested documents.
Ohio’s business and legal climates stand to benefit from the proportional discovery rules because using abusive discovery practices including serving overly broad requests for documents becomes more difficult. Also, the addition of the proportionality standard into Ohio’s discovery rules aligns our state’s civil rules with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure which should reduce incentives for forum shopping since Ohio’s discovery rules will no longer be more liberal than the federal rules.
During legislative hearings on the Supreme Court’s proposed rules, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce testified as a proponent of the proposed rule and emphasized how including the proportionality balancing test will improve Ohio’s legal and business climate by increasing judicial economy and speeding up the resolution of litigation.
The Ohio Chamber’s efforts on the Supreme Court’s proposed rules highlights how we monitor all developments coming from the court that may impact employers including tracking their daily announcements and a robust amici practice that enables us to weigh in directly with the court on matters of significant importance to Ohio’s business community.