As set out by the Litigation Section of the State Bar of Texas in an email to its members today, the following rule changes took place January 1, 2014.
1. Three Day Rules: The 3 day grace period that used to be added when calendaring the due date for discovery applies only to mailed copies. It does not apply to fax, Fed Ex or other service.
2. Service by Email and Commercial Delivery Service: New Rule 21a allows parties to serve documents by email and commercial delivery service (e.g., FedEx and UPS). Documents served by commercial delivery service are deemed served upon deposit with the delivery service. The Rule does not address when service by email is complete.
3. E-Filing: Email Addresses must be added to the Signature Block for all documents which are e-filed. Rules 21(f)(2).
4. Redaction Rules: Sensitive Data is to be redacted prior to filing unless the data is required by statute (i.e., information such as home addresses, birth dates, etc. should be redacted). Rule 21.
Federal Proposed Changes
Extensive changes are proposed to the Federal Rules, Bankruptcy Rules and forms. Key proposed changes to Rules 37 and 26 impact the scope of discovery and spoliation. The comment period on Federal Rule changes ends February 15, 2014.