Implementing Discovery Proportionality Standard Conference (Invitation Only)

November 13-14, 2014
Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel

(near the Reagan National Airport [DCA])



This invitation-only conference will be held on November 13-14, 2014, in Washington DC on implementing the new amendments to Rule 26(b)(1), which are due to take effect on December 1, 2015.  The amendments incorporate the proportionality standard directly into the definition of the scope of discovery.

During the six-month rulemaking public-comment period, hundreds of comments were submitted expressing concerns about the ambiguous factors enumerated in the proportionality standard (“needs of the case,” “burden or expense outweighs benefit,” “parties’ resources,” “importance of issues,” and “importance of discovery”).  Others raised concerns about applying these factors early in litigation because they change and evolve during the course of a lawsuit, while others suggested that the amendments shifted the burden of proof.   This invitation-only conference will identify consensus positions that will be developed at a follow-up conference into a best-practices document, which will provide authoritative guidance on implementing the proportionality standard. 

The input of federal judges is a key component of Duke Law’s Distinguished Lawyers Conferences.  The conference will consist of experienced judges, including:

Judge Jeffrey Sutton Judge Alex Kozinski Judge David Campbell
Judge W. Terrell Hodges Judge James Francis   Judge Elizabeth Laporte  
Judge Ann Donio Judge Amy St. Eve   Judge Gene Pratter  
Judge Craig Shaffer Judge Paul Diamond Judge Robert Dow
Judge Paul Grewal Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer Judge Paul Grimm

Experienced practitioners on the panels include Fred Baker, Tony Walsh, Robert Heim, Dena Sharp, Kimberly Newman, Jeana Littrell, Jon Palmer, David Buchanan, Dan Girard, Robert Levy, Patrick Fuller, Colleen Kenney and Ronan Doherty.  Academicians include Professors Edward Cooper, Steve Gensler, Jonah Gelbach, Bruce Kobayashi, and Stephen Burbank.

Six panels will address: (1) History of Proportionality Standard and Pending Amendments; (2) Judicial Case Management; (3) Developing Reasonable Ratio Benchmark; (4) Applying Factors in Proportionality Standard; (5) Preservation Issues; and (6) Economic Theory.

The conference is part of the Duke Conference Bench-Bar-Academy Distinguished Lawyers’ series, which is led by the Judicial Studies Center Advisory Council of litigation heads of 14 major corporations and 10 prominent plaintiff and defense lawyers. ( )

The conference is held under the Chatham House Rule:  "When a meeting, or part thereof, is held under the Chatham House Rule, participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed."

CLE ─  Nine (9) credit hours have been approved in North Carolina. If you are a practicing attorney in North Carolina, your CLE hours will be submitted for you. Attorneys from other states will receive a “Certificate of Attendance” and a completed “Uniform Application for Accreditation” form after the conference in order to submit CLE hours for their state.