Lawyers accustomed to what has been described by at least one federal district judge as “drive-by” meet and confers under the federal rules should get ready to park and prepare for an extended conversation. Whether one is a data producer (traditionally defendants) or a data requester (traditionally plaintiffs), the amendments to Rule 26(f) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure are going to profoundly affect parties’ discussions in “meet and confer” discussions concerning discovery.

For Luddite lawyers, these rule changes will require that they venture into a world that they dislike and perhaps on some level fear. But just as lawyers have survived past changes in the rules, they will survive these, too, and their clients and practices may well be better for it.

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