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Greg Cook, partner in the Birmingham office and chair of the Financial Services Litigation Practice and Sloane Bell, attorney in the Birmingham office and member of the Litigation Practice, authored an article in the March 2019 edition of the The Alabama Lawyer, published by the Alabama State Bar, about the Alabama Supreme Court’s amendments to Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure 26 and 37 regarding proportionality and ESI (electronically-stored information).
One of the main issues covered in the article pertains to Rule 26 which defines the scope of discovery. Rule 26(b)(1) now guides how parties may obtain discovery regarding any matter as long as its proportional to the needs of the case. Through the change to this Rule, proportionality is now a requirement which will be of particular importance for more complex cases, including commercial disputes, class actions, multi-party actions, product liability actions and actions involving electronic discovery.
The amendments are intended to make discovery a more efficient process. Greg and Sloane shared in the article, “While these rules changes should make little impact on routine cases, it is very important that Alabama trial courts have these new tools to handle complex litigation when it inevitably arises.”
Greg serves on the Alabama Supreme Court standing committee on the Rules of Civil Procedure and recently authored the new Fifth Edition of the Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure Annotated, published by Thomson Reuters. He has defended over 60 class actions, handled over 250 real estate and mortgage matters, and is a part of over 40 reported opinions. Greg received his J.D., magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School.
Sloane has experience in civil litigation matters, including unfair competition, financial services, personal injury, and healthcare. Some of her clients include public utility companies, financial services institutions, and private corporations. She received her J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Alabama School of Law.